Shalom

Shalom looking all regal and majestic

Shalom is such a beautiful word that I can’t have a blog devoted to the journey towards it without explaining it. Shalom is a Hebrew word that is often translated as peace. And yet, ‘peace’ is not apt enough to describe the depth that this concept holds. Shalom speaks of wholeness, of thriving in life, of joy that is not dependent on circumstances, of contentment with who God has made you, deep peace that passes all understanding.

I am big on symbolism. Shortly after I had left home, I decided to get a cat. I had narrowed down the names to either Kierkegaard (from whom I derived the notion of living on the strength of the absurd) or Shalom – two names that would remind me of the journey I am on. At the time I was studying Hebrew, and loved how this language had words that held much more depth than our English words. So I decided on the latter name.

I went to a big pet store one Saturday with the intention of picking up all the supplies I would need to adopt a cat and then going to humane society the next day to bring home a new member to my home. While there, I noticed the pet store had a rescue agency with kittens. I have always loved brown tabbies and I enjoy the company of male cats more than females – and there in a cage with other kittens was a beautiful, tiny 3 month old male brown tabby kitten! I went into the caged area to merely look at the cats but then found myself asking if I could hold this kitten that caught my eye. Instantly, this beautiful kitten purred in my arms and it was love at first sight – I could not put him back in the cage. And so, that is how Shalom came to be mine.

Shalom has seen me through eight years of stuff. He faithfully sleeps by my feet every night. He greets me at the door when I come home. And he lavishes love upon me, often comforting me in my weak and painful moments. Now that I live in a house of hospitality, I am frequently asked what is his name, what “shalom” means, and how I chose that name. Shalom is a constant reminder of the peace and wholeness that I believe God offers and the encouragement to keep on this path.

Here are just a few pictures of this wonderful companion, my Shalom.

Cats are one of the cleanest animals

Two of my favourite things… Shalom and coffee

My beautiful Cat. I love his facial expressions and markings around his eyes!

He is definitely a cat – he loves boxes!

Sleeping in what used to be ‘his chair’

Shalom has always had a thing for clothing…

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