Friday, November 28, 2014
Filled with Thanks
Today I'm filled with thankfulness and with hope. Not because of the Thanksgiving holiday or in spite of it, though, haha.
I was riding back home on the train after dropping my kids off at school, listening to music on my iPhone, "How great is our God / all will see how great is our God"... and it just rose up in me.
I just got done working at breakneck speed to make a little booklet for my son and for non-native readers telling the Native side of the Thanksgiving story. This time of the year sees a flurry of great articles about the mythic Thanksgiving story, and it's easy to take stock of the whole scene of all the terrible things done to Native Americans, as well as the lamentable state of the majority in the United States who don't seem to be aware or care about them.
As I listened to the praises of God from the descendants of settlers singing in English, I thought of how the very-religious colonists came and thought they worshiped a different God than the Natives... and how the Natives often believed that the Creator was different after seeing a lot of the wasteful and dishonest ways of the colonists. But I began to see the greatness of God the Creator, who is One, and how both sides knew a part of Him, even in ignorance and with bloody hands at times.
Terrible things were done. Cultures clashed. Massacres happened. People became sick and many were destroyed. And yet somehow, somehow the Creator is also the Redeemer, and He is going to bring something beautiful, exceedingly beautiful out of all of this. Maybe it's like the friction and pain that goes on inside of an oyster before a pearl is made.
It's just in that instant I saw and can still see a hope, a sunrise on the horizon. I see dark clouds, but they are passing.
I long for this vision to be told. I long for the redemptive purposes of the Creator-Redeemer to be spoken into the heart of America and Native America. Especially to my Cherokee people, who have been through a lot. So much sadness remains, so much trauma and scars from what has happened. I long for the prophetic vision of the Creator to be told in their context, and in the context of all the sufferings of the indigenous nations of North America.
So I'm praising You, Yowah. Wado, Nugvwiyusv!
(Changing the CD to hear some Native praises now!)