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Reconciliation: A Journey of Personal Transformation

A young Divinity graduate recounts her experience of resisting, embracing, and questioning the work of reconciliation

seek to understand the social and political strongholds that plague urban communities.

But even now, I am reminded of my same apprehensions regarding matters of race and economics during my first year of divinity school. I had to learn to examine my heart and refrain from judgmental attitudes that assumed the worst of my co-worker’s intentions. Through this relationship I have been challenged to put my hope in the work of the cross and receive the proclamation that in the cross hostility is put to death (Ephesians 2:16).

Reconciliation is a journey of the heart; it requires us to expose our places of vulnerability and brokenness with the hope of seeing God’s power transform and equip our lives for effective ministry. The reluctance I had to discuss matters of race and economics during the beginning of my divinity school career reflected unresolved issues in my heart, and maybe even a degree of fear about wrestling with my own brokenness and the brokenness of the body of Christ. Yet after being at New Song I see that brokenness in relationships exists in many different forms. We cannot limit the work of reconciliation to social agendas, but must put our trust in God’s Word, which assures us that those in Christ are reconciled to God. With Christ’s presence we can overcome the tensions and divides; through Christ’s power all brokenness is healed; and with Christ’s love we are able to forgive and trust. The process of receiving and embracing these truths has been my transforming journey of reconciliation.

Pauli Murray in the World

This mural in downtown Durham, N.C., honors the vision and legacy of activist, scholar, feminist, poet, Episcopal priest, and Durham resident Pauli Murray. The mural was part of a collaborative art project that engaged over 1,500 Durham residents. Duke Divinity School professor Mary McClintock Fulkerson is currently involved in the “Pauli Murray Project: Activating History for Social Change,” a Duke Human Rights Center project on racial healing and reconciliation in Durham County through history-telling. See for more information.