Great White Spirit, God of All Peoples,
children of my generation heard stories of
brave pioneers who traveled through uncharted
territory in Conestoga wagons, across deserts
and through mountain passes and forests to
make passable trails, and establish safe camps
in the "New World."
Encounters with bears, wolves, scorpions
and snakes could prove fatal, especially
for the children and babies in these wagon
Sometimes included in the companies were hardy
priests, eager to establish mission outposts
in Your name. Danger lurked however, from
heathen savages who could appear with whooping
war cries and weapons at any time.
dusk the hardy travelers drew their wagons
into a tight circle with night-watchers
and rifles at the ready for defense against
the "Indian" marauders, who, we
in school, often attacked with flaming arrows,
ruthlessly killing the innocent pioneers,
their women, and their children.
clearly explained, Dear Lord, was
the reality that these interloping Europeans
were trespassing on territories long inhabited
by many, many tribes of the native American
people. The intruding "pioneers"
laid violent false claims to the land.
The "white men" then set up forts,
from which, with firearms imported
for the purpose, they embarked on raids against
indigenous people whose ancestors - nomads
and farmers - had lived across
all of this land in several hundred tribes
for uncounted ages.
as You know, Lord,
tens of thousands of their people having been
killed, the defeated and demoralized Native
Americans were herded onto "reservations,"
where many still live today, sometimes
is no "going back" now, Jesus,
but I pray You, God of all peoples,
to forgive my ancestors for the cruelty
and injustice that they wrought, and I pray
for the souls of all the Native Americans
who were killed, and all who to this day
still suffer in any way from the violence
visited upon their forebears.
we all find peace with You
in the afterlife, our transgressions forgiven,
Great Spirit and Great God
of all races and creatures. This I pray,
2012 - Donn B. Murphy
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