Shalom

Hebrew, like a good therapist, has brought lots to the surface.

I’ve been in an intensive summer course for Hebrew I and II since June. The concepts and coursework have kept me busy and challenged. (Perhaps a strong understatement.)

During a brief break between Hebrew II and II Aaron and I visited the Museum of the Bible while visiting family in the Washington D.C. area. Even before we stepped into an exhibit, we were ushered toward the entrance alongside a group of sweet nuns, Aaron made friends with a security guard, and I had tears in my eyes by the time we reached the lobby. The museum itself has an interesting history, but all that mushy sentiment came from seeing (even at first glance) the impact of Israel’s story.

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We browsed the exhibits and watched others interact with videos, translations, and pieces of a narrative we’ve tried to shape our lives upon. It’s good to be reminded of my ancient faith. Sure, the expressions of worship and other structures have evolved over the years, but the essentials have remained.

Equipped with a small piece of Hebrew, the scrolls and history came to life. Language, culture, the familiar Bible stories of creation, exile, and life in David’s kingdom — it all felt tangible. How wonder-full.

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We came back from this visit and quickly settled back into the rhythms of summer school and work. To be transparent, “settled” isn’t quite the right word. “Slammed” might be more appropriate. I am a firm believer that you can still have peace, or shalom, wherever you find yourself in life, even if you feel slammed or worn out.

I would also like to confess that I have not always allowed peace into my life. I’ve pushed myself into school, work, and other relationships without space to cherish and properly steward them. Sustainable rest has not been a priority in my life and I know this is a major contributor to daily stressors and unnecessary encouragement to forget the most important things.

Sabbath is too easily set aside. It is one of the ten commandments, yet no where as present in our minds as honesty or envy might be. Peace should be integral in our calendars, hearts, and other rhythms. If you’ve been trying to sprint through a marathon like I have, let this be your invitation to slow down.

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

 

 

 

 

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