Last night, we showed the movie "Dakota 38" in the parish hall of St. John's. Forty-five people showed up to see the film --it was amazing. And after the movie, we moved the chairs in to a circle and talked late in to the night. It was truly humbling and amazing --little children all the way through to the elders, telling their stories, crying, laughing.
Some of the folks there were related to those condemned and hung. Some of the folks were related to those who did the ride. Some of the folks were present at the ride. Arvol Looking Horse, Pipe Keeper, who led portions of the ride, came last night and spoke.
Joel and I were the only white people in the crowd. We both spoke about being white, about this part of our nation's history not being adequately taught or taught at all in the history classes, about the guilt and shame.... And I said that the secret of most white people is that they don't know their own culture --they don't know their own history --they don't know much beyond their own grandparents, if that --they don't know what it is they have lost, and that is where the craziness comes from. They are not spiritually grounded. They only know and vote and work to put $$$$ in their pockets or to obtain power (the flip side of oppression and exclusion).
And I thought of all those media personalities and the Tea Partiers and etc... and know we are in for more trouble ahead. And I wondered if any of them could ever be convinced --could ever see beyond what they think they know, but don't. I wondered if any of them could ever realize and weep over the blood and bones upon which this nation is built.
I wondered if any of them could ever apologize.... Because, in the movie, the Lakota elder who had the vision and did the ride said, Let us Lakota be the first to apologize --there was great wrong on all sides.
He apologized for the wrong done.
Halfway through the movie, our internet hiccuped and we were thrown off the wi-fi and couldn't get back on --so one of the kids ran home and got his CD. He and his dad were talking on the Indian radio station the other day --talking about the Dakota 38 ride and the Wounded Knee ride, and the guy whose vision it was to have the Dakota 38 ride heard the interview, got in the car and drove to the Indian radio station, and gave them a CD. And that was the CD we watched.
It's all that close.
Someone said that they were going to have to make rides for quite a while --four years for each person killed.... which is what --152 years. And I wanted to say --No! 37 of the 38 were Christians and they don't need to be set free from that past --they are already free, the price has been paid.... But, I didn't. Those are the kind of words that are said one-to-one. Or when I am asked to speak to such things.
I am not here to save --I am here to love, and to be present to the joy, the suffering and the struggle. The world, the whole world is already saved.
At prayer this morning (Ephesians 2:11-22)
So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision” –a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands –-remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.
He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it.
So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.
In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.
A Christian cannot help but look around and see Christ. In all things. In all ways. In all persons.
The law is abolished... one new humanity... reconcile to God... proclaiming peace... the whole "structure" joined and a holy temple... built together in to a dwelling place for God.
Not perfect as the world would have it, know it, think it. But certainly holy.
--a dwelling place for God. God has left heaven and pitched his tent among us. God with us.
That about says it.
Off I go.