It was a one day fair at the V.A. where Native American veterans would display their heritage and their faith.
It was only moments after we entered the yurt that the medicine man engaged with Trey…the child’s evident curiosity was a welcome canvas for him to paint on.
He began with the creation story…how the Creator came to the mountain top and became a bear and walked down the mountain on his hind legs, becoming a man on his descent.
After that, he taught us about the sweat lodge and the tools and rituals his people used in worship.
The pipe, of course, with the natural herbs and tobacco smoked in it, along with an eagle feather, bear claws and other symbols of their faith.
Most fascinating to Trey was the “talking stick”.
Once inside the sweat lodge after the purification rituals they pass around a carved and feathered stick…and every word said while holding the stick must be truthful.
It’s the Native American equivalent of swearing on the Bible…and quite useful for settling disputes.
The medicine man then pulled out his “healing stone”, a well worn rock he used in prayers for physical healing and at the time of death to help guide the dying persons spirit to the other side.
He concluded his demonstration and after we looked over some of the native crafts and clothes, we thanked our hosts and left.
I expected that Trey would have a hundred questions.
He only had one.
“Is he going to hell”?
There had been no mention of Christ, no cross,no blood, no forgiveness of sin, was seen among the tools or mentioned in the rituals.
I mumbled something about grace and mercy and how we should make our own “talking stick”…
Make your own application…