Of Peace, Place and Shalom Activists


My wife and I were sick to our stomach as we watched a newscast report the horror of the Boston Marathon bombings.  Our hearts are heavy. We knew 2 people who were present at the marathon itself.  Thankfully, they are both ok. 

But it reminded me that violence is always happening.  It’s as if this full scale, big impact violent event reminded me that bad stuff happens all the time.  Seemingly violence has been happening forever.

It’s two competing narratives.  One of violence.  One of peace.  One seeking revenge.  One seeking to love the enemy.  Each telling a radically different story.  The grand call of God is that hope and peace is always there, subverting the story of violence. 

That narrative calls for shalom activists. 

Boston needs prayer and the presence of peace.  It needs shalom activists. 

Palestine needs prayer and the presence of peace.  It needs shalom activists.

Northern Ireland needs prayer and the presence of peace.  It needs shalom activists.  

Africa needs prayer and the presence of peace.  It needs shalom activists.  

Your neighbourhood needs prayer and the presence of peace.  It needs shalom activists. 

Peacemaking is not a picture of a dove, or a 70’s peace symbol.  It is good ol’ fashion hard work.  That is what a shalom activist does.  I have met a few of them.  And they all have three very specific things in common. 

A love for God, a love for their particular place, and they work hard.  Damn hard.  Everyday.

The shalom activists are there, participating with God, and working damn hard.

As large scale violent acts trend on twitter from time to time, lest we forget that the grand narrative of violence remains, day after day, in the worlds most ignored places too.  Pray for Boston.  Pray for the families who have suffered loss and the devastation of the subsequent ripple of pain.  Pray for those who no nothing other than violence in their own backyards.  Pray for your place too.  Seek peace.  Navigate the subversive story of peace.  God’s peace.  Pursue it! 

Start with the little things.

Has the Boston Marathon bombings prompted you to think about peace in your particular place?  Where do you see opportunities for peacemaking both locally and globally? 


  1. Pingback: Of Peace, Place and Shalom Activists | My CMS
  2. Elsie Hannah Ruth Rempel · April 16, 2013

    Reblogged this on Faith Bytes: Elsie Spins a Blog and commented:
    Wise words for challenging times.

  3. Ryan Giesbrecht · April 18, 2013

    Yes. Hard work! Peacemaking is anything but passive! I greatly appreciate how you remember all the other atrocities that happen quite regularly all around the world, and how the same solution (Jesus) applies to every situation.

    Where do I see peacemaking? By actively taking in and loving those who are hard-pressed, who might feel pressured to steal or act violently because they have been shunned by much of society. This takes a lot of work, and it may cost a little of my own personal peace, but it makes for much greater peace in the community as a whole, and therefore it is worth it!

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