Reflections

Vandalism of God's Shalom

I just started reading Cornelius Plantinga’s book Not the Way it’s Supposed to Be: a breviary of sin

I’ve been immediately taken with his understanding of sin as the Vandalism of God’s Shalom.  Shalom being a Hebrew concept which refers to rightness, harmony, peace both personally and corporately; it refers to the way God intends things to be.  Sin is the vandalism of God’s intended beauty.  The book begins by retelling the scene from the movie Grand Canyon – you probably know the scene.  Kevin Kline, a wealthy attorney, on his way home from a Lakers game has his Lexus break down in a rough neighborhood.  He calls for a tow truck but before the truck shows up, his car is surrounded by five young apparent gang members.  You remember the scene?

Well just in time, the tow truck shows up and its driver – an earnest, genial guy by the name of Simon (played by Danny Glover) – begins to hook up the disabled car.  The gang protests and so the driver takes the leader of the group aside and “attempts a five-sentence introduction to metaphysics: ‘Man, he says, ‘the world ain’t supposed to work like this.  Maybe you don’t know that, but this ain’t the way it’s supposed to be.  I’m supposed to be able to do my job without askin’ you if I can.  And that dude is supposed to be able to wait with his car without you rippin’ him off.  Everything’s supposed to be different than what it is here.”

 The Vandalism of God’s Shalom.  It ain’t supposed to be like this.  How right Simon is.  The Kaleo Life is a life which has been wrecked and broken by this vandalism and gives itself to partnering with God to restore His Shalom. 

What wrecks you?

How is God using you to restore His Shalom? 

We would love to hear your story.

 If you are at a loss for what this might look like, watch this updated story of Dr. Val Shean and let her story speak to you.  She’s a simple veterinarian in a broken part of this world, living among the contentious, fractious people of the Karamojong in Uganda and yet God is using her to bring His peace to thousands.

Val Shean – Peace Village update from Shawn Penn on Vimeo.

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