When overwhelm, anxiety, or anguish consume our lives, we need a compelling vision to reorient ourselves. A vision can shift our gaze from problems to possibilities. It’s a beacon lighting a path that we desperately need when we are stumbling around in the dark, barking our shins on obstacles.

The vision for our lives given in Scripture is the Great Commandment—loving God and others as we love ourselves.


I wish we called it the Great Vision because “commandment” can conjure up an image of a divine judge who hands down an edict. But that’s not the spirit of this invitation.

God’s invitation is to participate in a community of harmonious relationships where love flows freely.

Love is energy—a power that enables something to work, happen, or change. Think of how your body feels in the presence of one of your favorite people. You can often feel the flow of love in your body; it is life’s most potent energy force.

When we are embedded in loving relationships with ourselves, others, and God, we live in a flow of the most compelling force in the universe.

Esteemed theologian Walter Brueggemann writes, “The central vision of world history in the Bible is that all of creation is one, every creature in community with every other, living in harmony and security toward the joy and well-being of every other creature.” It is a vision captured in the Trinity and the Great Commandment.

Brueggemann asserts shalom is the word that conveys the vision.

I appreciate Brueggemann’s reflections on shalom because they are grounded in biblical texts that capture the complexity of life: “It is well-being that exists in the very midst of threats…in the very places where people always have to cope with anxiety, struggle for survival, and deal with temptation.”

God casts a vision and invites us to orient our lives to it as a gift of grace.

God is always for you, offering the Presence of Love to restore you to wholeness. God never bypasses our suffering; shalom is a word that captures a state of well-being that is possible because God is with us and for us always.
My new book is titled Journey to Shalom: Finding Healing, Wholeness, and Freedom in Sacred Stories. More than simply peace—however precious peace is—shalom means wholeness.

Brennan Manning quotes a friend’s definition of wholeness that speaks to my hope for you: “Wholeness is brokenness owned and thereby healed.”

A compelling vision is essential, but it is not all you need.

I hope the spiritual practices in each chapter of the book support living out the vision. Too often, we are given a view of life from the mountaintop but no trail map to lead us there.

I want you to have the best of both—a compelling vision and spiritual practices that lead you to shalom. That’s why I wrote Journey to Shalom. The book is available for preorder now on Amazon in paperback and digital formats or from your favorite digital source. The launch date is January 23, 2024!