“To be at one with God is to be at peace …
peace is to be found only within, and unless
one finds it there he will never find it at all.
Peace lies not in the external world. It lies
within one’s own soul.”
—Ralph Waldo Trine
Peacemaking will always begin at home for me. And when I say at home what I mean more specifically is that when I seek peace, I must first seek to find it in myself. I believe the battle for peace within drives the causes, movements, relationships, and interactions we seek out—or conversely, the ones that we don’t seek out or even avoid. I find that the very thing that has the potential to fill the cracks in my heart is precisely the situation from which I withdraw. What is it within us that causes us to deny ourselves peace; why do we ignore the opportunity to heal? The opportunity I speak of is the one to engage with the world around us. Not simply offer commentary on global news or the latest YouTube sensation. But to actually step across the line to bump against, comfort or be comforted, laugh with, empower, learn from or teach, the kid with the cornrows, the refugee, the entrepreneur, the single mom, the holy and the fallen—these acts of faith in our humanity create space for peace to grow where fear and pain once dominated. It need not be a mission or an elaborately planned expedition across the world. Look right out your window, across the hallway at work, and on the sidewalk of every neighborhood in our city, and you will see a need for peace. More importantly, look in the mirror, and be honest about what you see. Set aside doubt and divisiveness, and put trust and inclusivity in its place. Reserve judgment and see the potential in the most unexpected place: within. Fear and the drive to individualism allow us to forget that we need each other for peace to be a reality. The gift of peace cannot be fully experienced if we keep it to ourselves. Peace cannot be achieved apart from community. The sweetest surprise, however, may be that the key to peace within is submitting to the interdependence of our community and owning our place in it.
Stay up, sisters and friends. Fight for your peace. I’m with you all the way.