Deeds of Shalom
There used to be a television show named Candid Camera. The show would feature staged
surprises and pranks. Some of the episodes were hilarious. My favorite one was a
stranger asking a person seated next to them at the diner, “Can I dunk my doughnut in
your coffee?” The simple question led to priceless facial expressions. When the prank was
revealed and they said “Smile you’re on candid camera” it produced unstoppable laughter and fun.
You might remember there was a tag line for the show Candid Camera.
“Somewhere, sometime, when you least expect it smile you’re on Candid Camera!”
I loved that show. It showed how happy surprises break down barriers and walls
so people could just relate as people.
Our invitation to our congregation to spontaneously share “deeds of shalom” also involves
the element of joyful surprises. Deeds of shalom can halt ordinary life of being busy,
preoccupied, worried, bored, and replace it with love. The little deed we do for
someone can even be the spark to change a life. I can remember people who said kind
things or showed extra mile compassion that changed my life. You might recall the people who
have done so in your life. We never know how far a deed of shalom can go!
Shalom is a word that captures God’s vision for the world. Shalom can be used to say
hello or goodbye. It is a Hebrew word which means peace and extending to someone wholeness in
body, mind, and spirit. Everyone has many needs; spiritual, emotional, physical, and
mental. We function at our highest level when everything is whole and congruent.
In offering deeds of shalom we are impacting people who may be fragmented. Our deeds
done in love can offer hope for a life of harmony in body, soul, and mind.
In my evangelism class, at Emory University, Dr. George Morris used the phrase shalom often. He
taught us that shalom was God’s vision for the people of the world. God has a vision
of spiritual wholeness for the world. Jesus was sent into the world to live this
vision of peace and wholeness. Shalom seems to capture what we are aspiring to in
this life to be whole as persons. If we are spiritually whole, our body and spirit
will be at peace as well. Shalom captures so much and this is why I have ended my
newsletter articles with the word shalom through the years.
As we go out this week, we have a real opportunity to make someone’s day, heal their
brokenness, extend love they have not received, and even change a person’s life! Let’s
go out and change this community with deeds of shalom this
week. Let’s start changing the world for Jesus!
Changing the world can begin by loving one person at a time and one deed at a time.
Would it not be great to put a smile on someone’s face and share Jesus’ love by
our deeds. Let’s surprise someone with a deed of kindness this week. Our doing so will
produce the element of surprise which we might hear someone say, ”Somewhere, sometime, and
when it’s least expected Smile
Jesus loves you; this is why I do the deed of shalom!”