“In the darkness something was happening at last. A voice had begun to sing. It was very far away and Digory found it hard to decide from what direction it was coming. Sometimes it seemed to come from all directions at once. Sometimes he almost thought it was coming out of the earth beneath them. Its lower notes were deep enough to be the voice of the earth herself. There were no words. There was hardly even a tune. But it was, beyond comparison, the most beautiful noise he had ever heard. It was so beautiful he could hardly bear it.”

– C.S. Lewis (The Magician’s Nephew)

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.
Genesis 1:31

Sing, Daughter Zion;
shout aloud, Israel!
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart,
Daughter Jerusalem!
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:14, 17



Shalom is a love song and in my opinion, the very best love song.  Better than anything Celine Dion, Boyz II Men, Bob Dylan, or Elvis could write. Better than the grandest moment in a Broadway music or the most tender refrain of a lullaby. It’s a love song to the broken and the lonely, the ones who wonder if God makes mistakes and if she’s counted among them. It’s a love song to friendships and families, colleagues and fellow congregants, neighbors and enemies and how those relationships as taxing as they are spark a certain kind of light into the universe— bright spots of connection in a vast endless sky.  It’s a love song to the world, the soil, the sky, the oceans, and everything that lives within it; how when God fashioned each of them he showed us his very vulnerable artist’s heart, “Look, my Love,” he says, “See what I’ve made for you! Will you take care of it?” The sweetness is almost like that of a child holding up a picture and asking you to honor it by putting it on the fridge. It’s a love song to the ones who want to live wholeheartedly, the ones who refuse to settle, the ones who ask, “is there more to life than this?”  Jesus calls these warriors with an eye for wholeness—  blessed, peacemakers, sons and daughters of God.

I want to think of my book, “Shalom Sistas”  as a collection of songs sung over me instead of a stories to be told because songs are where Jesus and I do our best work. I cannot tell you how many summer camp altars I “got saved” at while the praise band sang, “I surrender all” over and over and over again.  Or the times I’d pull over with tears streaming down my face because a song came on that just spoke directly to my fears— I simply could not be trusted behind the wheel during such a holy moment.  And don’t ask me how many playlists I have on various music apps on my phone, it’s embarrassing really, I can’t have an emotion and not collect songs like Pokemon in a handy-dandy playlist.

There’s something more organic to the song than a story. A story with it’s required beginning, middle, and end feels too neat, too tidy—there’s an obligation for the listeners to get the “moral of the story” then apply it— that’s just too much pressure. Where’s the room for the messy, the dissonant chords, the trailing off?  I need this in my life.  Maybe you do, too.

So, in my book you’ll find stories, yes, but I hope you hear harmonies that you are enough and melodies that promise that the world can be made right again— it’s not broken beyond repair.

What makes me sad is that we believe that to be whole we have to be neat, tidy and meet all the requirements.

It’s the kind of work we like to make movie montages about, you know the kind— when the lead girl realizes her worth, dumps the deadbeat boyfriend and then sets out to change. She works out, she goes shopping, she eats better, she dominates at work all this while a girl power anthem plays in the background and by the end we want everything good and lovely and perfect for her.

What I’m learning is that there’s nothing neat or easy about remaking a broken soul and its interactions with the world around it. This is the what it means to a peacemaker— actively deconstructing that which does not work and then putting it back together with pieces fortified in love.

What if we created a new montage that’s not perfect but good?  What if the power anthem behind us is almost too beautiful to comprehend but exactly what the world needs to hear to be made right? Like Aslan’s song that created Narnia, what if God wants to sing a new song over us and create a flourishing world?

What if being a peacemaker is a woman who lives into the good with the anthem of wholeness playing behind her montage of being remade?

There’s a word for this love song that invites it’s listeners to enter into a vibrant life  vibrant, abundant and overflowing with goodness— “Shalom”.

She that has ears to listen let her hear.