Herv Vek (Peace)

Genesis could not be avoided, it manifested everywhere
Clearly the task was to rediscover Eden, it needed repair
The challenge slowly drew towards cautious immediacy
Multiple threads pulled, knowledge chased the prophecy

God’s present Easter week, a way to unravel the mystery
A Native American Creek embracing his culture’s history
He closed his email signature with a beacon to understand
Simply told; all we have left is respect for our sacred land

Holy Thursday another gift, the altar Crucifix was shared
Superimposed within, a peace sign made of feathers dared
accept forgiveness; from a hundred thousand loving souls
One man cannot take much of this, tears fell uncontrolled

A new friend, a puzzle piece, a path to origination’s beauty
God’s breath sent grace, creation’s march to certain destiny
The plan now more obvious, surrendered life must renew
Five other days to contemplate; Native myths hold a clue


Less than a week before Easter, I had become friends with a Native American Creek. He closes his emails with two profound yet simple statements; Herv Vek (peace) and we must respect our sacred lands because that is all we have left. 

The Crucifix for me is a place where the realities of heaven and earth mingle. When combined with Christ’s shared intimacy of Eucharist, moments occur that are difficult to put into words.  During Mass on Holy Thursday, I completely melted when I “received” what could only be forgiveness from hundreds of thousands. A translucent peace sign of feathers that merged with the Cross was as real as anything real could have been.  I knew in that split second–in Christ’s pure love, act of forgiveness and resurrection–that these souls were Native Americans.

I have since discovered a treasure and different perspective from what I had in old pre-Christopher Columbus stories.

For further reflection: Ask an Indigenous person to speak of their culture.


Postscript: When my friend saw this picture, his reaction was “feathers point up”!  I had not realized the feathers had pointed down.  I thought about his comment and prayed over what it might mean. It hit me that it depends on where you are standing.  There is a famous Salvador Dali painting titled Christ of Saint John of the Cross which has a view of Christ from the top which I interpret as a view from Heaven. Since my own view of the Crucifix is both heaven and earth, I came to see how powerful the feathers pointing down (up if viewed from the top) became.