Child Care


A sign hangs on my office door.  It says, “You are now entering a ‘Shalom Zone.’  In this room all will strive for a feeling of peace, acceptance, and enjoyment of all relationships.”


I created the sign over a year ago, when I was writing a Sunday school lesson on the concept of “Shalom.”  The Hebrew word, “shalom,” conveys what God planned for the creation.  Shalom means that people are in a good relationship with God, with themselves and their bodies, with their neighbors (all other people), and with the earth.  For people to be in shalom means that their life is balanced and that they relate to the whole of what surrounds them with a peaceful spirit. 


Sometimes when I read the paper or watch the news, the number of horrible things happening in the world is mind-numbing.  I wish I could gather up every child in the world and place them into a world where food, good health, education, and love were shared equally by all.  Nicholas Wolterstorff, in Until Justice and Peace Embrace, stated that “a society characterized by shalom combines peace, justice, and enjoyment of all relationships so that all peoples can flourish in their lives, and that they can also delight in their relationship with God.”  That is a world I would choose to live in.


Now, that world of shalom can seem to be an impossibility, but “impossible things are happening every day,” according to the Fairy Godmother in Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.  Besides, Mother Teresa stated that “a smile is the beginning of peace,” and a smile is an easy thing to start with.  If we as parents, guardians, caregivers, and friends of young children strive to create shalom zones in our lives, the ripples will spread.  We know that our actions and even simply our presence affect and change the children in our lives.  As they grow with the concept of shalom, they will spread it to the friends, families, and others they interact with.  The ripples can grow to tides of love and compassion.


This is Holy Week, the week we remember and prepare for the miracle of God’s love for us.   Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you” (John 14:27).  I hope that you will find ways to end each day with thoughts of peace; to begin each day with thoughts of peace; and to continue thinking thoughts of peace throughout this day and every day.  Shalom. 

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