Monday, January 19, 2015

"A Greater Hope" (a word)



“I saw them dance
I heard them pray
I knew their grief
I felt their pain

They had new hope
They followed a vision
They did the best
with what they were given

They poured out their hearts
Dancing as hard as they could
Praying for a restoration
To bring back all that was good

They did not know
The time was not yet
Their hope for themselves
It still had limit

My hope, it was not
made known full to them
My work was hidden—
Redemption from sin

Their dances and prayers
Done so fervently
Could not bring what I
accomplished on the Tree

Their prayers were precious
Innocent, pure of heart
I treasured the love
they saw just in part

A greater redemption
For them I have made
Not dependent on them
But done through My grace

In Me their desire
for love is made whole
But reaches wider
To enemies who stole

My hope is not only
to redeem their lives
But also their oppressors
The ones living lies

The vision that I see
is not just to restore
But to bring something greater
than what they knew before

Through My suffering
I redeem all their pain
And save their enemies
in love just the same

My great restoration
It comes through the Cross
They need not dance hard
To redeem their loss

I will set them free
to dance and to praise
I will heal their wounds
Through My sovereign ways

Once their great hope
Was by men taken
But My hope will not fail
It depends not on men

Look up and hear Me
My beloved children!
I restore and redeem
The earth from all sin!

I will fill you
with hope once again
Dance no more for ghosts
Nor for redemption

Look now through My eyes
With love for enemy
For your ancestors' hopes
They are fulfilled in Me.”

****

As I've been on my journey of reconnecting with my Native heritage and learning about the cultures and spiritualities of Turtle Island, there is one subject I've prayed about a lot and avoided commenting on:

I've been hesitant to comment on the Ghost Dance because it holds such a sacred place in the heart of Native America. The brutal way it was suppressed and the massacre at Wounded Knee were unequivocally wrong and evil.

Yet the vision of Wovoka and the hope that filled the dancers, as beautiful as they were, did not know the full redemption found in the Cross. (But neither did the "American dream" or whatever the colonizers taught!)

Christians and non-Christian Natives both tend to take an "either/or" approach to the validity of the Ghost Dance—either it was the Creator or it was not. I reject that dichotomy because it doesn't bear witness in my spirit to what I hear in the Spirit.

So after much prayer and agonizing (in fear of offending my beloved Native brothers and sisters), I am sharing what I've heard from the Spirit in my spirit.

I believe all of us who have lived and walked on Mother Earth see only in part instead of seeing the whole. So if was with the Ghost Dance, I believe, and so also it is with what I share here that I have heard. I believe there is only one who sees fully, clearly and truly—the one who is the Creator of all, and is Redeemer of the earth and her people.

In view of this I offer my respect, my tears, and my honor for the Ghost Dancers and the hope that so many of them were unjustly killed for believing in. I believe in One who redeems their suffering and who Himself is the perfect completion of their hope... and still more beyond!

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