By Mark Buchanan, CBM’s Global Ambassador. He is also the author of Your God is Too Sade, Things Unseen, The Holy Wild, The Rest of God, Hidden in Plain Sight, and Spiritual Rhythm.
Then I met Tal. Tal James is Penelekut, a band from an island close to Duncan. Tal had, in his early 20s, become a Christian. Today he works with North American Indigenous Missions, a mission agency dedicated to sharing the gospel – in all its dimensions – with First peoples. Tal has become a good friend. He has let me ask, and patiently answered, many stupid questions. He has taught me much about his culture, and helped me get past my uninformed reactions to indigenous practices, places, legends, artifacts – powwows, sweet grass ceremonies, totem poles, long houses, wampum, thunderbird stories – things I once knew nothing about, but held opinions and made judgments about anyhow. And sometimes Tal, along with his German wife Christina, have gently but firmly rebuked me for my subtle but clear racism. An example will help.