This is one of the core legacies that I hope to pass on to
my children. I can still remember kneeling next to a young Crow Indian child
years ago, helping them to remember this verse: “I praise you because I am
fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are WONDERFUL, I know that full
well.” (Psalm 139:14)
I even and especially remember the emphasis on “wonderful”.
It is a special thing to share such an uplifting truth with
a child who is wearing the same clothes they have been wearing all week. A
child who slept last night at their grandparent’s house, the night before that
at a cousin’s, and the night before that at their friend’s house. The same
child whose local school serves lunches throughout the summer because he and most of his friends will not, otherwise, have much to eat until the new school
That child was/is a product of the deplorable poverty that
many of our Native Americans live in…right here in our country. A poverty that
was created many generations ago when that kid’s family ended up on land
“reserved” for them. (The land that was theirs first).
Despite his poverty, despite his sad history, that kid is fearfully and wonderfully made. He matters.
God makes that kid matter because God created that kid. And
God died for that little guy.
I think about that wonderful child, and many others whom I
met on my two summers of Youthworks Missions out on the reservations of
Montana. I think about those children every time my young kids come home from
school full of “education” for me about what the Plymouth Indians were like.
My heart twinges when I hear some of the things my kids are
learning. They are learning same thing, I imagine, as many kids are this time of year...broad-sweeping and mismatched details of several native
cultures mixed in together as if the details, and perhaps even the people, don’t
But they do matter. God makes everyone matter. We are
fearfully and wonderfully made. His works are WONDERFUL. Every last detail of
God’s works is wonderful indeed!
Perhaps it is time to take my little ones on a walk with me
down memory lane. Time to pull out my photo albums and introduce them to Pony
Boy, William, and the countless other children who grew up on proud stories of
Buffalo Hunts, fiercely loyal family clans, and a society, however seemingly
primitive, in which every body mattered.
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