Monday, December 1, 2014

The Gift of a Feather



The day after my Native heritage was awoken in my heart, Creator gave me a picture which I sketched on the back of a receipt (which is not unusual—I have a collection of "receipt art" now!). In the picture He had placed a feather in my hands, symbolizing the Native heritage He had given to me.

During the next month it was a whirlwind of questions, revelations, awakenings, tears and new joys for me. One thing I wondered and asked about was what feathers mean to Native peoples, what they mean to Him, and ultimately what they mean to me.

Inside of me I could feel and see that feather there.

I won't list the different explanations I found for the meanings of feathers in Native cultures, nor is this the time that I'll describe the juxtaposition He gave me between those beliefs and what He revealed in the Bible.

The great meaning for me was that He had given Native heritage to me, and the feather was a symbol of that to me.

So I wanted to have a feather like the one He had put in my heart. I looked around online a little, and found a good site to order one from—a feather with beads around the base. They called it a "prayer feather" and what they wrote in the description was:
"Prayer Feathers are commonly given as a gift to heal the heart."
That was what He had done for me! There was a part of my heart I didn't know was there, and He healed it by awakening me!

I don't know if I can begin to describe the ways my heart just felt *healed* after my awakening. I hadn't known I was unhealed or missing anything until He awoke my Native heritage in me. I had never fully felt the brokenness... but when He awoke me, the new wholeness just overwhelmed me. It was *healing* to me, through and through.

So I ordered the feather, even though shipping it here to Japan would cost a pretty penny. I waited and waited for it to arrive, questioning whether I had been right to order it for myself.

After waiting for a month, I began to worry. Then noticed that I had accidentally forgotten to change my shipping address online—it had been sent to my old address! I contacted the company in case it was returned there, but it seems it never was. I hoped the new tenants at our old place would somehow find us from the neighbors, but I never heard anything.

It was lost. If it ever got to me, I knew it would take a miracle. I had to surrender it to Creator completely. If it came, I knew it would be significant and would be in His sovereign timing. (To date, I still haven't received it.)

****

A few months ago I was chatting online with my brother Kenny Wallace (who is of African, Choctaw and Pawnee heritage). Somehow we hit on the idea of making a gift for each other. I prayed and received a picture to paint for him. I quickly finished it and sent it to him along with another painting...

This last March, Kenny went on a mission trip to Guatemala to visit the Ixil Mayan people, who had been devastated by and are still recovering from the government's genocide in the early 1980s. When Kenny was preparing to go, Creator gave me a painting of Himself wiping away an Ixil woman's tears. It was this painting which I sent to Kenny along with the new one.

Kenny didn't tell me what he was making for me. He sews and beads and makes his own regalia (and does hoop dancing as well!), so I knew that he would make something special and unique for me.

A couple weeks after we chatted, Creator blessed Kenny and his wife with a beautiful little baby girl, so I knew he would be busy for quite awhile, and I resolved not to pester him about my gift, haha.

A couple nights ago we finally got to chat again a little, and he caught me by surprise when he mentioned the gift he'd made for me. He hasn't been able to mail it yet, he said, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to know what it was. But I couldn't resist asking. So he sent me the above photo—

It's a beaded feather!

(Creator, You astound me!!)

I was overwhelmed. This had more meaning to me than I could describe to Kenny.

Knowing how much deep symbolism Kenny prayerfully puts into the regalia he makes for himself, I asked him about the beaded feather. Here is what he told me:
It's a turkey feather from Guatemala, a gift from some of the women in the village that I went to.

The colors are red (victory) and (white) peace in the Cherokee color scheme.

The Xs and diamonds are a thanks that our paths have crossed.
Wow. Just wow. This means so much to me. The personal touch and love he put into it... the effort to use colors from my own tribe... and that it had been a gift to him from the precious Ixil people who have suffered so much... it had soooo much meaning and is soooo special.

I am beyond honored. I am beyond humbled and overwhelmed.

Wado, Danvtli. Thank you, brother.

****

(P.S. You bet I don't need the feather that I ordered anymore! Creator has gifted me with something much, much better. Wado, Unetlanvhi! Wado!)

1 comment:

  1. A Cherokee sister shared this comment with me after reading:

    "A feather to our people, particularly in NC where Kenny and I are, a symbol of honor and friendship. It is the greatest honor one can give to a friend."

    The "being honored" just keeps piling up for me!

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