Stones are part of our traditional experiences whether Christian or Native. Faith calls us to believe that we are capable of things that we had not believed before.
If we as a people of Christ are to atone for and reconcile with Native American people, we must first acknowledge the numerous injustices inflicted upon an entire people/culture/society. We are called to not only admit the wrong, but we are called to deeply search for the truth, to know (as best we can) their experiences when everything they knew and loved was torn from them permanently.
As I write this, the song “will the circle be unbroken” runs through my mind. This is true when it comes to or lives. We are part of so many circles. Family, church, friends etc….we are part of the circles. I look forward to being within the circle, to worship, to share, to celebrate and to comfort. We are all brothers in sisters in Christ, we are all related and we are all in the circle.
Some theologians say Lent ends on Holy Thursday. Others hold fast to Holy Saturday. Lent lasts 40 days. The first day of Lent is Ash Wednesday. Six weeks later excluding Sundays, Lent is over. Then, it’s Easter. Christ rises triumphantly from the grave to reign forever. Looking back, did the richness of this liturgical season prepare us for Easter? Were the sacrifices promised in earnest kept in earnest? Or, did resolutions and/or sacrifices made in earnest slip away buried by the busyness of life and living? Maybe the one sacrifice kept became “living water.” Has our prayer and self-denial led us to a closer walk with Christ?
The man looked down then up at me, “I’m sorry my parents didn’t treat them Indian folks better.” I felt the Holy Spirit welling up in me, realizing the importance of what he was saying not for me but for his son and family. I smiled and said, “Wanishi ta (Thank you very much) for saying what you did and for remembering the story and that we’re all related.”
Carol is only 10 years old, but she's already taught me much about love and acceptance. I can hardly wait for our youths to meet Carol--along with others like her--in the Lake Traverse Reservation. And I hope our youths love them all even before they've met them.
If God can save the Hebrew children from snakebite by looking at Moses serpent of bronze on a pole; and God can save the world through his Son not condemn it through his perfect love; if amazing grace can save us through faith in Jesus Christ why is it so difficult to do what the Son of Man desires namely “Lift Him Up?” Lifting him up is a no brainer if one believes in the promise of John 12:32 “And I, when I am lifted up will (not might) draw all persons unto me.”
We envision Indians and non-Indians coming to the site to remember what happened at Sand Creek. We envision scholars and students, pastors and church folk coming to learn the truth of history and to continue raising the important questions lest we repeat the sins of our forebears. It is time for more than words.
The best way I know how to bestow worth is to convey in word and deed the worth God, through Jesus Christ, has placed upon them. “For God so loved the world.”
The message of the death and especially the resurrection was a marvelous message for the Cherokee. In response to that message, Cherokee was the first language the Bible was translated into in the Western Hemisphere.