Saturday, July 28, 2012

wealth is not dependent upon how much you have, but how much you can give away

Well, D is now famous. Not only did she get invited for a total makeover by the local hairdresser --which she did, and she will now be used as advertising all over town.... BUT, she made the newspaper!

So, D, there you are in your Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation Youth Diabetes shirt you received for walking a three mile walk at the Home Town Festival --there you are buying jewelry at the craft fair!!!!

Yeppa. Nothing like a small town to make everyone feel important.

D is also wearing a 'new' hat in this photo --she said to Deacon --I like your hat! --and Deacon took her hat off and gave it to D... just good manners here. Joel is sans hat because he had just given his away....

Just the way it goes here.

I have given away all the star quilts I have received... and the Pendleton blanket... keeps the good energy going....

When a Ugandan seminarian and his wife visited us in Oregon lo those many years ago, I took them over to meet my mom, and they admired my mother's glass collection --so my mom said, choose any piece of glass --and it's fun to know that there is a bit of my mom's joy floating around in Africa somewhere....

In that book, What Every Church Member Ought to Know About Poverty, it talks about "stuff" and how "stuff" is used. In middle and upper income families, "stuff" is used to create displays of wealth and secure dynasties and is inheritance --it's kept in the family circles. In lower and poverty income families, "stuff" is used to create, form and sustain relationships. Thus, give-aways.... Your wealth is not dependent upon how much you have, but how much you can give away.

And I keep looking around our house --we have less than half of what we had a year ago... and that is quite a relief. But we still have a great deal of "stuff".... I wonder about it all....

The Leader --Itancan of the Mission Council --the Lay Leader, Sr. Warden of the whole collection of churches on the Reservation --he saw the lanyard I made, and said he really liked it. I would have taken it off then and there, but I have nothing else to hang my Niobrara cross from --and that is a ceremonial piece the Bishop gave to me and I cannot give away... So, I told him I would give it to him as soon as I was "done" wearing it --which means it is time to start making another lanyard.

Sooner, rather than later....

Talk about giving "stuff" away --After the comfort services, the wake and the funeral and all the eating that goes with those liturgies --family members usually stop doing or participating in their customary things --like pow wow dancing, singing at the drum, parties or get togethers of any sort --and after a year, sometimes longer, there is a Wiping Away the Tears ceremony, after which one may resume one's customary things.... I haven't been here long enough to do one of those ceremonies --but Thursday night at the wake I was asked to preside at one for someone who is now ready, after three years of grieving his father's death, to resume his place at the drum.

The family will have to teach me what to do ceremonially to help them finally give away their grief... they are "done" bearing it... ready to resume their lives.

Thinking. Praying. About all of it.

At prayer this morning (beginning at Romans 15:25)

At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem in a ministry to the saints; for Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to share their resources with the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. They were pleased to do this, and indeed they owe it to them; for if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material things. So, when I have completed this, and have delivered to them what has been collected, I will set out by way of you to Spain; and I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.

Please keep in your prayers the people of St. James, Canon Ball, Standing Rock Reservation just north of us in North Dakota. The church burned to the ground three days ago. Because St. John's, here in Eagle Butte, burned to the ground ten years ago, I will hope to inspire the people here to act on behalf of the people of St. James --and give some stuff away.