Saturday, March 12, 2011

United for Prayer

Sitting atop South Mountain at Las Ramadas, I have been enjoying the warm sunshine and view over Phoenix with First Nations Elders as they shared a full day of insight with the members of the U.S. Government from Washington DC. 

One spoke of Mother Earth being sick and how we need to unite in prayer, pointing to the thick haze and mentioning the recent earthquake/ tsunami in Japan and New Zealand.  One spoke with heaviness and concern because they have not yet heard from indigenous friends they had met during previous World Peace and Prayer Day and cautioned that we must unite in prayer and make efforts to protect the earth.  One cautioned about the opportunity to change course or how our children will suffer. One shared his love for Bdote Minnesota (near Minneapolis-Saint Paul) and the difficulty getting access to sacred sites.  One offered an invitation to Bdote for World Peace and Prayer Day this June.

With one day of face to face meetings left, my heart has been stretched bigger as these spiritual elders shared their connection to the land: "I don't own has just always been a part of me.  Creator gave it to all of us to protect it."  I've been challenged to think about the word consultation, about how to listen, about acknowledging the sacredness in each person and acting with respect.  This week I have served as a neutral, simply listening, writing meeting minutes and encouraging the use of the Four Way Test as a measuring stick, absorbing tremendous wisdom from these strong people of faith.  I have been struck also by the gracious leadership that has come from Washington DC who seem very eager to listen.  What a blessing to have heard from these very transparent hearts and to have united in prayer together...