- Yesterday, I shared with you all about my family and where I was born and raised. If you haven’t read it, I encourage you to do so because it will give you some insight into why I care so much about what happens today in Ottawa with the meeting of the Prime Minister and the First Nations leaders.
- When I was a little girl, growing up on an Indian Reservation in Northern Saskatchewan, we spent our summers at home and for many weeks that included walking up the road to the tabernacle in the bush. Along the path we were sheltered by towering evergreens and through those evergreens, wild Tiger Lilies(or Prairie Lilies as some call them) would grow. If it sounds pastoral and peaceful, then you have read it correct. It was. It was a time within a time. Almost a stopping of time.
The world may have been spinning in darkness but we were suspended in moments of perfection and light.
- If you’ve ever been to an Indian camp meeting you will understand when I say there is no agenda and there are no clocks. If you haven’t been, do yourself a favour and go this summer~it is a world like no other. Cranked up amplifiers, electric guitars, steel guitar, the smooth vocals of the special speaker and his wife from way down south in Oklahoma. I mostly fell asleep on my mother’s lap as the hours waned after the children’s Bible stories and games were done. There was only so long that our attention could be held before we were sent back inside to that hot and over-flowing tabernacle of praise. And when a song was going well and the 4th verse was over, they’d start it all over again to keep the Spirit moving. One song in particular always plays over in my memory…..
- ( I found this on YouTube and the memories came flooding back).
- Wow that brings back memories. That’s pretty much how we’d sing it.
” He paid a debt He did not owe; I owed a debt I could not pay…I needed someone to wash my sins away..”
- The song is about redemption. And the only way to be free from the burden of sin is for Jesus to take the load. Because there’s no human way possible for us to pay back to God for all of the sin in our lives.
- I thought of that song today because this week there’s a battle going on in our country over native rights and responsibilities. The players and issues are convoluted and complicated. I can’t possibly address it all here in one blog or even ten.
To be honest, I don’t know what the answer is.
- When identities are wrapped up in treaties that are over 100 years old and the foundation of those treaties is based on the past and simple concepts like land ownership, I throw my hands up and wonder “when will it be enough?” When will our debt be paid? I am white, you see. And because I am white, I have to pay a debt that I do not owe but I owe a debt I simply cannot pay. We are in desperate need of a Saviour here and sadly, the only ‘saviours’ that everyone is looking to are mere men and women who are hardly capable of satisfying the demands.
- Identity. That’s what this is all about. Who am I? Who are you? Who are we together and who are we apart from each other? If the only answer is more land, more rights, more money, more schools, more houses, more laws……there will never be enough.
- And so, I’m praying this prayer today. It’s the Prayer of St. Francis and I don’t know of anything more appropriate to pray than this over our leader of the First Nations, Sean Atleo,the Chiefs of Reserves and Settlements,Metis and Inuit leaders and for Governor General David Johnston and also our Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.