Speaking to the present in the spirit of renewal
Rev. Bryan D. Jackson
May 22, 2020
How are you making sense of the “new world” as we move toward the summer season? It has been a disturbing, scary, uncompromising winter and spring. When pews are empty on Easter throughout the Christian world for the first time in any semblance of memory, it’s fair to say that life is different. Is something revealing itself to you? Perhaps greatness is speaking to you from the perspective of your own ecology and inventiveness. A great unveiling could be underway.
The dark star of COVID-19 fell to earth late last year, wreaking havoc for the first half of 2020. We are left with the challenge of how we will adjust to the second half. While greeting one another with a kiss is probably not the best of ideas during this continued crisis, we are certainly free to love one another (John 13:34-35). As we attempt to do so, we are offered the opportunity to exercise our creative muscles. My hope is that the Great Spirit is moving in such a way as to enable some of us to start new businesses, recommit to public service, discover new strength to fight life-threatening illness, or simply be free to be happy. We can reawaken the natural tendency to be curious about what is happening around us so that we might generate ideas and action that will fuel an explosion of energy to help make the 2020s an ultimately magnificent decade of enlightenment.
You might accomplish something in the latter half of this year that you previously thought impossible. When we refuse to let a good crisis go to waste, we demonstrate our ingenuity and courage. We give the people around us a sense of hope and renewal.
Do you have medicine? In some American Indian life and thought, one’s medicine is that from which one derives personal power and agency; a freedom, if you will. It puts us in touch with the earth, grounding us yet pairing us with the ethereal.
It is usually the thing that brings you healing when other things cannot. Creative writing is a big part of my medicine, particularly the fiction I compose for young people. It takes me to a place where everything will be okay, a realm of the universe where I can speak freely to all the creatures that encircle the throne and get an appreciative audience in return. Who reads it here on earth is perhaps not the greatest concern, for I know that my friends in the celestial world have already approved, applauded, and pondered what I worked so diligently to express. It is the place where justice is extracted, where things are made right again.
Summertime is calling.
Where and how will things be made right for you again after one of the most troublesome seasons of our lives? What revelation (apocalypse) knocks at your door as the warm breezes of summer beckon you and yours? You are truly an artist of one sort or another; the bionomics of your life cry for articulation! The great tree of life summons us to the eternal river that permits us to dip in our respective brushes, return to the canvas, and paint a portrait of renewal and restoration. You might accomplish something in the latter half of this year that you previously thought impossible. When we refuse to let a good crisis go to waste, we demonstrate our ingenuity and courage. We give the people around us a sense of hope and renewal. We just need to be able to see what is being presented to us. We can get beyond the malignancy in order to envision the recovery, to see past the scars of abuse to embrace the healing that one way or another, will be ours if we merely accept it.
May the wild potato feed you, the bear protect you, the raccoon lead you through the darkness, and may the Great Spirit pull you toward the light.
The Rev. Bryan D. Jackson is an American Baptist minister and a member of the Mount Hood Cherokees, a satellite community of the Cherokee Nation. He lives in Kirkland, Washington and is the author of Chattahoochee Rain: A Cherokee novella.