Wednesday, April 17, 2013
The list of enemies within is more problematic, much more difficult for us to see and confront.
Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in your faith... 1 Peter 5:8-9 NRSV
Peter uses the metaphor of the lion only because he didn't know the metaphor of the booby trap, the Bouncing Betty mine, the IED, the sniper, the Stealth fighter, the Predator drone and the Hellfire missile, or the backpack pressure cooker.
Hehaka Sapa (Black Elk, "Joseph Black Elk" after his baptism) was truly a seer whose words we do well to ponder. One of the most sacred spaces I have ever visited is the little Lakota prayer garden built outside the little Neihardt Museum in tiny Bancroft, Nebraska. It was there that newspaper editor, poet and author, John G. Neihardt, wrote of Black Elk's life and the end of "Sioux" culture, after visiting Black Elk whose life spanned from the Civil War to the candidacy of Dwight Eisenhower. He was nearly blind, but certainly able to see. The composite prayer above written by Neihardt is basically a summary of how Black Elk saw himself, life, the Creator, creation and humankind. It's a timeless creed for life that I know by heart and say frequently to remind myself.