Signposts: Daily Devotions

Sunday, May 25

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation...
—2 Corinthians 5:18

When we hear that someone is “gifted,” we tend to imagine an exceptional singer or painter, a brilliant scholar, or a successful entrepreneur. What we don’t often picture is the individual whose skills are less tangible, the individual whose person is actually the gift.

For an example, we need look only as far as Mohandas Gandhi or Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Beyond any other gifts they might have had, their gift of “presence” was a major distinguishing trait. Their strength lay not just in marshaling forces against injustice and violence, but also in quietly—and sometimes not so quietly—building relationships between people, doing the work of reconciliation.

Now more than ever, the world needs the contribution of those who are gifted in healing the rifts between us. This is a work that carries risk, for it requires both humility and vulnerability.  To be a reconciler is to put away ego and pride, and to focus on our common humanity as children of God.

This doesn’t mean that there will never be times when we have to make a stand. Indeed, Gandhi was adamant in working for India’s independence, just as King was unwavering in seeking equality for all races. What it does mean, however, is that we have chosen not to sever our ties or to write the other off; we may have agreed to disagree on an issue, but the relationship remains intact. In following this path, we are taking a step into the Kingdom of God, acknowledging that the one who made us loves and treasures us all.

O God, deliver me from the burden of having to be “right,” and help me to become a reconciler, a healing presence in the world.

The Signposts for May are written by Susan Hanson and originally appeared on in September 2004.