Monday, March 25, 2013

The Medicine Wheel and the Cross

 I'm editing my novel, working title: Tall Prairie Vision. It's about a daughter of a Native American Chief and an Irish man who comes to the fictional reservation to teach in the school in the hopes of evangelizing them. He learns a lot along the way. Following is an excerpt from the book where the heroine, Little Feather, teaches a group of students the Native meaning of the medicine wheel.


  “Ancient tribal people built these symbols all over the Americas.” She placed the rocks in a large circle in the middle of the circle of students. “Each medicine wheel has a cross intersecting in the middle and reaching to the edges of the circle.” She spoke slowly as she placed more rocks inside the circle in intersecting lines. Her words sounded like a whisper and nearly entranced Alex as if her voice carried some kind of magic. When she completed the lines in the circle she sat down in the larger circle with the students. Alex faced her on the other side of the circle.    “We’re sitting here all together in a circle, Right?” A number of students nodded their heads. “No one is above or below the other while we’re in this circle.” Alex looked around, confirming her words in his mind. They all sat on the same level. She continued, “In the circle we are equal.”   “The Medicine Wheel represents this equality. All people are represented within the points of the wheel. We each have a place on the wheel and when we work together as a whole we have health and happiness.”   Alex grew nervous with this line of reasoning. He couldn’t argue her logic, but it missed some important aspects of truth. He wanted to hear more. He wanted to understand Little Feather and her tribe and their way of thinking.    “There are many teachings about this wheel, some differences and some similarities among those teachings, but most believe that the points on the wheel represent all the nations of the world. . .


The medicine wheel has cross beams inside it to support the outer circle. The outer circle represents all people of the world. In my book Little Feather has a vision of Jesus hanging on the crossbeam bleeding. She doesn't know it's Jesus and doesn't understand yet that he died to take away the sins of the world so we can have fellowship together and be equally accepted into God's presence. 

This Holy Week may we remember the One who bore our sins and sorrows. The one who redeemed us and united us in Christ with people from every tongue, tribe and nation. 

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