Lakota

In Memoriam: Dr. Richard Leo Twiss

Dr. Richard Twiss
Dr. Richard Twiss

On Friday afternoon, I received an email and call from Sue Martel, the editor of Richard Twiss' forthcoming book,Rescuing Theology from the Cowboys: An Emerging Indigenous Expression of the Jesus Way in North America. As we finished the conversation, she shared that she had a vision of someone anointing Richard’s feet with oil. I shared that earlier in the day I felt called to do the same, but I didn’t know the meaning of the vision. On the way to the hospital, I read the story of Lazarus and the grave (John 11: 1-44) and felt called to read it over Richard. So, when I arrived at the hospital, I learned that during the day, Richard’s kidneys failed. I shared the conversation with Katherine Twiss, Richard’s wife and co-founder of Wiconi, and she blessed me to read and to anoint Richard’s feet. As I read, we all wept. I never noticed this before, but the scripture begins with an explanation that Lazarus was the brother of Mary — the one who anointed Jesus’ feet for burial. I anointed Richard’s feet and prayed.

In the prayer, it was clear that we were being called to believe that God was going to do a miracle. It was one of two kinds of miracles: either God was going to say “Richard, come forth!” and call him out of the grave to walk among us once more or God was going to say “Unbind him” (John 11:44a) from this broken body. “Let him go.” (John 11:44b) “It is finished … Well done good and faithful servant,” thus completing the miracle that was Richard Twiss’ life. As we stood around his bed that night we didn’t know which miracle it would be, so we waited.

VIDEO: But You Know the Way for Me

In the August 2012 article "Come Together and Listen," Rev. Canon Robert Two Bulls writes about the connection between the Lakota Sioux tribe and the brothers of Taizé, France. The Lakota language is now among those that have filled Taizé's chapel with prayer. Check out this video of Taizé music sung in the Lakota language, combined with stunning photography by Walter M. Wayman of the Lakota people and Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.
 

Elaina Ramsey is assistant editor of Sojourners.

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VIDEO: Lord's Prayer in Lakota

In the August 2012 article "Come Together and Listen," Rev. Canon Robert Two Bulls shares about the deep faith of his people -- the Oglala Lakota -- and their life on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Watch this video to hear his father recite the Lord's Prayer in Lakota and view beautiful photos of Pine Ridge.

Lakota translation of the Lord’s Prayer:
Ate unyanpi, mahpiya ekta nanke cin,
Nicaje wakanlapi nunwe.
Nitokiconze u nunwe.
Mahpiya ekta nitawacin econpi kin,
He iyecel maka akanl econpi nunwe.
Anpetu iyohi aguyapi kin, anpetu kin le unqu piye.
Na tona ecinsniyan ecaunkicinpi wicaunkicicajujupi kin,
He iyecel waunhtanipi kin unkicicajuju piye.
Na taku wawiyutanye cin ekta unkayapi sni piye;
Tka taku sice etanhan eunklaku piye;
Wokiconze kin, na wowasake kin,
Na wowitan kin, hena ohinniyan na ohinniyan nitawa heon. Amen.

Elaina Ramsey is assistant editor of Sojourners.

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