I was blind, but now I see.

A number of us noticed, 
and commented among ourselves,
about how trashy and neglected
the workshop and storage building of HFH had become
over the past year.
Pulling on to the Bishop Hare campus and heading to our dorm,
you couldn't help but notice all the 'debris' in front of the building.

To be honest, it was 'unsightly' - 
and seemed to be yet one more indication
of the neglect and general carelessness about property
so often seen on the reservation;
to our eyes,
it was just another manifestation
of the chaotic and disorganized lives
so many find themselves trapped in here.

What we were soon to find out is that the 'debris' 
is actually the result of hard work, and ingenuity;
that of re-claiming dead wood from public lands
which is then distributed to the elderly poor for heating 
in the bitter winters of South Dakota.
'Firewood for the Elders' is a program near and dear
to the hearts of people on the reservation
and it was spearheaded by Mother Lauren.
We see 'debris',
the elderly see warmth,
possibly even survival.

 It was a powerful reminder that, as Christians, 
we are called to a different way of seeing.

The labels used by the larger culture -
'debris', unwanted', 'trash' -
whether referencing property or people 
simply have no bearing in the eyes of God.

As I looked around for the rest of the day,
I wondered what else I was missing;
how many other things - 
and people - 
do I need to see differently?'

“You don't think your way into a new kind of living. 
You live your way into a new kind of thinking.”


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