Thursday, November 12, 2009
#699 - Thinkers and Writers
Dan is a deep thinker. The Creator gave him the gift of understanding cultures. Dan told many of his words of wisdom to Kent. Kent wrote them down and made the stories into two books: Neither Wolf Nor Dog, and the second book, The Wolf at Twilight.
Dan is a Lakota Indian from South Dakota. Kent Nerburn is a white man from Minnesota, blessed with the gift of writing and insights and a rare gift of being trusted by many Native people. Sadly, Native Americans have learned to distrust most whites.
The devastating and violent history between European "boat people" and American Indians still has reverberations today. The two cultures do not trust each other.
I have read Neither Wolf Nor Dog twice, and I just finished reading The Wolf at Twilight. What a powerful, emotional punch is packed in that little book (in both books)! I am clinging to the hope that this book represents. Dan gives this advice: the Creator gave different gifts to different people. If we learn from each other, we can share the gifts. Isn't that a much better approach than hating, fearing, mistrusting eachother? It's high time we turn things around.
That is why I go to Rosebud in the summer and do a week of work with my church. We are trying to build trust. We are trying to learn from each other. Each time I go has been an awesome experience, each time in different ways. Sometimes the lessons sink in only long after I return home. I hope that in some small way what I do while at Rosebud is helping build bridges, too. Do the people think about us after we're gone, and learn a bit about us?
I encourage every American to read these two books. We have the ability to change the course of history. We can build trust instead of suspicion. We can allay our fears. But I believe the ball is in our court (non-Indians of America). We need to read and learn and take the first step. Can you read two books and change the way you think?
Today I am thankful for Dan's gifts of wisdom and understanding, and Kent's gifts of seeking/listening and writing.
Some of the words from one of my favorite hymns, "The Summons" --
Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don't know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be known,
will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?
Will you leave yourself behind if I but call your name?
Will you care for cruel and kind and never be the same?
Will you risk the hostile stare should your life attract or scare?
Will you let me answer prayer in you and you in me?
Will you love the "you" you hide if I but call your name?
Will you quell the fear inside and never be the same?
Will you use the faith you've found to reshape the world around,
through my sight and touch and sound in you and you in me?
Lord, your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In your company I'll go where your love and footsteps show.
Thus I'll move and live and grow in you and you in me.