I sat quietly in the chair next to my overflowing basket of yarn as my fingers practiced the familiar counting of rows. Crocheting has always had a calming effect on my restlessness, and I needed its soothing powers on this particular day. The repetitive movement of my hook seemed to counteract the rambunctious state of my heart.
My heart is often plagued by the dream of doing big things. I wanted to write life-altering books, preach soul-stirring messages to stadiums of people, and travel across the ocean to serve the poor. I wanted to be elbows-deep in a community that mirrored Acts 4:32—“All the believers were united in heart and mind. And they felt that what they owned was not their own, so they shared everything they had.” I loved the idea of being a radical peacemaker—someone who works diligently for justice and reconciliation in the world. I wanted to be part of a big movement with a big community.
But instead, God’s plan for me was planting a small church with a few friends in the middle of a metropolitan city. It was never part of my plan, but that’s exactly where I ended up.
The Toil of Peace Building
God has used our little church plant, perhaps more than anything else in my life, to teach me what it looks like to work out big passions in little places, showing me that he is God over the small just as much as he is God over the big. Jesus said, “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called children of God” (Matthew 5:9). Even though it’s not as obvious or tangible as fighting sex trafficking overseas or building wells in Africa, I’m choosing to work for peace right where I am. But what does “working for peace” look like in daily life? For me, it’s been making that choice, every single day, to fight for peace. It means not running away from conflict. It means sitting still. It means showing up even when I don’t feel like it.1