For some time the Spirit has led me to think about children.
While I don’t have children of my own, I was strongly connected with the children of my best friend, Randy Porter, at times living in part of the same house. And since his death trying to fulfill the role of “godfather”.
One of my first experiences as an adult was to be part of the Friends Volunteer Service Mission (VSM) where I had the opportunity to decide how to work in the community full time. I was led to work with the neighborhood youth.
My professional life was spent at Riley Hospital for Children. I began work as a respiratory therapist in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Then the last thirty years doing research in the Infant Pulmonary Function Lab.
I was also blessed to become involved with the Kheprw Institute (KI), a Black youth mentoring and empowerment community.
As I’ve been learning more about Native Americans I’ve learned how important children are to them.
“The ones that matter the most are the children.” Lakota Proverb
“Grown men can learn from very little children—for the hearts of little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show them many things that older people miss.” –Black Elk
“The Lakota call children wakanyeja. ‘Wakan’ means sacred. To us, children are not only blessings, but are meant to be the principal focus of each tiospaye (extended family group). They are sacred of their own accord.
We believe that before a baby is born, its soul specifically chooses its mother and father. It is understood that children are more than miniature versions of ourselves; they are spiritual beings in their own right, with their own voices, gifts, talents, and purposes.” https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/news/opinions/each-child-is-sacred/
One of the most important concepts in native culture is the Seventh Generation principle. Evidently there are two ways to interpret that. One is to consider what effect any decision will have on seven generations to come.
The alternative, which I like, is to consider the three generations before, your generation, and three generations to come. This is to consider what generations before you have to teach you, as well as care for the current and future generations. In the Lakota Nations a generation is considered to be 100 years.
The main impetus behind these recent leadings are my concerns about the environmental chaos our children are facing as a result of so many things we have done to harm Mother Earth. And the harm we continue to do to our environment. When will we change? What can we say to our children and future generations? As the environmental chaos around us becomes increasingly apparent and severe, how can we justify not making the radical changes necessary now? For their sake?
All of this has been heavy on my heart for a long time.
But last night I learned of the new policy of the government of stealing children from their parents at our southern border. There is no justification for such evil. I pray that the efforts of the American Civil Liberties Union to stop this are successful, and quickly. I pray God finds a way.
The theme of the Poor People’s Campaign is “somebody’s hurting my people and its gone on far too long, and we won’t be silent anymore.”