A special friend of mine, Donna Darovich, recently gave me a book that I've come to deeply treasure: "The Wisdom of the Native Americans," a compelling collection of Native Americans' quotes compiled and edited by an equally compelling author/sculptor, Kent Nerburn, whose own spirituality soars. As I've learned more about him, I'm inclined to put Nerburn in a league with John Eldredge, whose spirituality and ability to give voice to his heart and soul simply astound me. Eldredge's thoughts and writing gifts are simpy, truly awesome. I'd recommend his work to anyone, particularly to those who are suffering.
You who know me know that I love my Native American heritage, which is part Cherokee and part some other nation or nations that I may never know because my families worked hard to eradicate any connection to that heritage out of fear and shame. They nearly succeeded. I wrote about that a while back in a Sunday cover story for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. But I digress.
Out of love and respect for Native Americans and response to his heart's calling, Nerburn has given us a book filled with the majesty of Native American views. There's no saccharine stereotype at work, just unvarnished, point-blank thoughts about a wide range of matters.
His book belongs in any library, particularly one in which space is devoted to Native Americans. In this post and more to follow, I'd like to share a sampling of the quotes that Nerburn found. Here's one I especially value:
"We do not want churches because they will teach us to quarrel about God, as the Catholics and Protestants do. We do not want to learn that. We may quarrel with men sometimes about things on this earth. But we never quarrel about God. We do not want to learn that."
-- Chief Joseph, Nez Perce