The deepest lesson of all for me in the banner picture of the day before yesterday is this: The banner image was identified this way: “Indigenous Surge: Indian dancers led the way for 10,000 marchers protesting the graves of children found at Canadian residential schools. Toronto, 6/6/2021”.
That the indigenous peoples, often brutalized, their land stolen, treaties broken, their culture and religion ransacked, their children kidnapped and taken away to white schools, did not yield to death. If anything, they have risen from the dead. Look at the determined faces—and colors and actions—of these people at prayer: They aren’t disappearing or going anywhere. They are thanking the Creator still in wonderful and creative and earth-honoring ways. They incarnate hope in the midst of suffering, life over death.
Isn’t that a wonderful preparation for days of Ramadan, Passover, Easter?
Isn’t that powerful medicine in a time of War and the atrocities of war?
And medicine in a time of Black Lives Matter when efforts at genocide-by-slavery are remembered in order to move beyond?
I began my Foreword to Donna Schindler’s important book on Flying Horse: Stories of Healing the Soul Wound this way.
Donna Schindler, in this book, cites a favorite quote of hers that goes like this: ‘No sorrow is too great to endure if a story can be told about it.’…The author says the learning must begin with telling the truth, with telling stories.
While I was reading this book, I learned that the black liberation theologian James Cone passed away. This book of stories, this book of testimonies begging for healing, is a witness to what James Cone called the “original sin” of America—namely the racism and genocide which caused the pain and suffering that still echoes in our souls. White souls and red souls, black souls and brown souls, and all who inhabit this land bear witness to the bloodshed of both the indigenous peoples and the enslaved African peoples. We all drink it and live with it daily. What can we do?
Adapted from Matthew Fox, “Foreword,” in D. Schindler, MD, Flying Horse: Stories of Healing the Soul Wound, p. ix.
Also see Matthew Fox, Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth.
To read the transcript of Matthew Fox’s video teaching, click HERE.
Banner Image: Signers’ hands bless “Uluru: a Call from the Heart,” a 2017 statement by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders calling for the establishment of a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution of Australia. Photo from FromTheHeart.com.au, the website documenting the initiative. For recent news, click HERE.
Queries for Contemplation
Have you undergone rituals or ceremonies that bring back wholeness and dignity to yourself or others? Do we underestimate the power of ritual?
Recommended ReadingFlying Horse: Stories of Healing the Soul Wound
By Donna Schindler, MD; Foreword by Matthew Fox
A white psychiatrist shares the truths she has learned about historical trauma in this book which has been called ‘prophetic’ by Reverend Matthew Fox. Starting with her childhood in South Texas and Bermuda, she takes us on a journey during which she had to confront her own racial biases and denial of the truth in order to work as a cross-cultural psychiatrist with a Maori mental health team in New Zealand, the Navajo Nation and California Native Americans.
Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth
Fox’s spirituality weds the healing and liberation found in North American Creation Spirituality and in South American Liberation Theology. Creation Spirituality challenges readers of every religious and political persuasion to unite in a new vision through which we learn to honor the earth and the people who inhabit it as the gift of a good and just Creator.
“A watershed theological work that offers a common ground for religious seekers and activists of all stripes.” — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice.