One of our Lenten offerings is to gather in homes for book discussion, fellowship, and the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. This year, we are reading a book by Richard Rohr called The Divine Dance -The Trinity and your Transformation. On an early page of the book, Richard talks about “re-minding”. He argues that “Humans get excited about something only if it includes them in some way. God surely knew this about us, and so God included us inside of God’s own knowing -by planting the Holy Spirit within us as the Inner Knower and Reminder of all things.” Richard goes further to claim that “This is indeed a re-minding, a very different kind of mind that is given to us.” The idea of Re-Minding struck me in the most profound way as I walked along the streets of Washington, D.C. last Friday.
Being a part of The March on Washington, walking in the rain and snow among people of all races, was incredibly interesting. The chants were funny, raw, and provocative. But the event also spoke to the depth of anger, frustration, and helplessness faced by many people -especially Native Americans. The sufferings of Native Americans are often untold, and many came from far and near to join in the protest. I saw one of the young people I met at the last summer camp. I wondered why a thirteen- or fourteen-year-old boy would skip school to join a protest march in D.C. The reality is, when you have everything taken away from you, the classroom often exudes little to no significance.
As I marched with this young Native American, the idea of Re-Minding kept coming back to me. I realized that Re-Minding isn’t about calling something to mind or remembering something; it is more than that. Re-Minding is about a new kind of orientation that moves a person in a different direction because of the Holy Spirit that has been given to the person. Saint Paul uses another phrase: “Be ye transformed by the renewal of your mind.”
I think that human and societal transformation is always possible and is very much needed in our society. But it does take people who are open to a new kind of Minding, and who believe, as Sheng-yen does, that “compassion has no limit; kindness has no enemy” , to turn around the lost hopes of many Native Americans. – Manny