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I went to pickup the Makoto Fujimura piece, “Shalom”, we were having framed today (which was already a month late due to mistakes made during their framing process). I was excited that the day had come for us to be able to share it with friends and family, to see it in its frame and be inspired by it each day I walked in and out of our home, when to my great frustration I saw that they had ripped the rice paper the lithograph was on.

As you can imagine my patient was already wearing thin but this really was the straw to break my proverbial back. I didn’t lose my temper and I didn’t rampage, I quietly noticed it, told the framer about it and had her manager come over. It appears that they had already seen it and were going to let us take it home unawares because they were already filling the form out to reimburse us. I was mad…I didn’t have the peace of God, the restoration promise of shalom at work in my heart. BUT I didn’t lose my cool. They said they’d reimburse us the full amount, which I thanked them for and I called the gallery I’d purchased the piece from to see if they had any more prints in that series left and if they were the same price. They said they would have to get back to us.

I’m considering keeping it…

Why? Because Makoto’s inspiration for this piece was Shalom. The word Shalom comes from the Biblical story of God’s ongoing restoration of the original peace lost in the fall. A restoration that includes our relationship with God, ourselves, our neighbor, and creation itself. I realized that the very piece meant to encourage me, my family, our friends and neighbors to pursue this peace of God in all they do, could become a reason for war. Something I think Makoto would not have intended.

I’m left with these questions: how will Makoto Fujimura’s “Shalom” live in my life?

Will it be merely decorative or real?