In Shalom, II

Guest Commentary by Barbara L. Desrosiers"

Send Thy peace, O Lord,
which is perfect and everlasting,
that our souls may radiate peace."
(Sufi Prayer for Peace)
C. Robin Janning’s "In Shalom" (seen above) came to me quietly, like a foggy memory. I recognized the feeling, but wasn’t sure why. Then it struck me: it is holy graffiti, left hidden on the walls of my heart while I was embroiled in life’s turmoils. The surface pulses with the power of diluted blood, signs of a weary heart. The colors are warm, but sad, as if one has tried in vain to wash away the blood stains of a pain-filled life. The etchings of dark scar the surface in an ancient way, saying "look, you can’t erase the past." It is the cement wall of my stubbornness dripping with God’s gentle touch. The scarring of pain merges beautifully with the emergence of a new, triune hope.

That hope emerges as flowers, arising from beneath the surface. They bring with them the promise of "shalom." This shalom is much more than the simple translation of "peace" we generally use in the English language. It is a deep, multi-dimensional term with an intense history. It is a completeness, a secure peace, a victory over discord.

Partners in Urban Transformation put it thusly, ". . .at its fullest, shalom captures the Hebrew vision of human society, the non-human world and even the environment in an integrated and relational whole where ‘the wolf and the lamb shall feed together and the lion shall eat straw like the ox’(Isa. 65:25)."

"In Shalom" aims to do just that, to speak of a unified world, one of forgiveness and gentleness. It is a quiet painting with a powerful duty. In Shalom radiates peace: peace for the individual, peace for the whole world. Robin’s painting lingers in one’s psyche, a mark of holiness, calling one back to the desert for renewed baptism in its quiet presence.

Editors Note: You can see Barbara L. Desrosiers' art at
Turtle Spirit Studio. Her art and her words have been featured at Episcopal Cafe and in the ECVA Exhibition Art and Faith, A Spiritual Journey.

As seen above: "In Shalom" by C. Robin Janning

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