Acrylic On Canvas
36” X 36”
Shalom is part of the Pop Up Theology Series of paintings that highlight inspirational messages from world religions.
Most people associate the Hebrew word “shalom” with peace, but its meaning is much more complex and interesting.
Shalom is a feeling, an intent and an emotion of wholeness, fulfillment, unity, and well-being. It is the interwoven harmony of God, humans and all of creation in justice, health, tranquility and joyful delight.
In the book Generous Justice, Tim Keller explains that shalom “means complete reconciliation, a state of the fullest flourishing in every dimension — physical, emotional, social and spiritual — because all relationships are right, perfect and filled with joy.”
Craig Nessan, in his book Shalom Church, says: “The idea of shalom is itself a reflection of a world perfected–where peace, justice, care for creation, and respect for human dignity are grounded in the love of God and neighbor, a restored creation.”
In creating this painting I felt like the word shalom was so rich with meaning that I wanted to make the painting as simple as possible to focus on the meaning of the word at its most basic. The painting is divided into four parts to reflect the different dimensions in which we can experience shalom: physical shalom, emotional shalom, social shalom and spiritual shalom.
The circle represents the feeling of wholeness and fulfillment. If one of the four dimensions of shalom is not present, this circle can not be complete. The circle, combined with the connected puzzle pieces, reflects our unity with God and one another.
The stripes are symbolic of a fabric pattern, reminding us that we all make up the fabric of creation and must work together and help one another through our threads of support in creating harmony. Finally, the bright, bold, cheerful colors reflect the joyful delight brought about by a feeling of shalom.