Shalom is a Hebrew word that is often translated as peace or wholeness. However, its meaning goes much deeper than simply the absence of conflict or disintegration. The biblical vision of shalom is a community vision – a vision of human flourishing and a community that is holistic, healthy, and vibrant; a place of harmony, joy, and welcome. More than a concept, it is the concrete, tangible presence of goodness, meaning, jobs, healthcare, education…all the ingredients that make for a collective, flourishing life. Shalom invites us into a new understanding of our world, and our relationship within it.
Loom dreams of a world where our partners have the opportunity to model an integrated understanding of a shalom community. Each project we accelerate is moving toward being a reliable source of shalom (health, safety, prosperity, peace, friendship, well-being) as well as the working out or normalizing of shalom into their community. But if we have learned anything in the past decade, it is this: we cannot participate in shalom from a distance. Each of us has to get our own time, energy, and resources involved.
And this is where we find ourselves situated: between the hoped and fought-for blueprint of community flourishing, and the reality of what it asks of each of us. The biblical vision of Shalom is foundational to our understanding of what it means for communities to thrive. But in a profound way, it is also foundational to our understanding of what it means to be human. Do we see communities as a collection of independent people, living next to or even on top of each other, but not connected? Or do we recognize the profound interconnectedness of ourselves with all of humanity, and the thousands of ways we give and take from each other every day?
The Desert Fathers of the third century used to teach the younger monks, “your brother is your life.” Strong, resilient communities are built around the truth that we need each other not just to survive, but to thrive.
As we examine the fabric of our own communities, we see there are many areas where our time, goods, power, and other resources could be woven in. And this is our vision for communities across the world: holistic, local solutions that come from a fabric of relationships, woven together out of struggle and joy, daring to imagine a thriving future for their community.
Will you join us?