Something drew me to the table in my church sanctuary where a Native American woman was selling some items she had collected over the years. "I have so much of this stuff", she proclaimed when I asked her how she could bear to sell her things. Being new to the church, I had no idea who this woman was nor what her role was on that Sunday. Within minutes, I found myself the owner of a small weaving about the size of a place mat. Not wholly understanding why I had made the purchase, I made my way into the sanctuary for the start of the service.
Imagine my surprise when the service started and the woman I had purchased the weaving from began to beat upon a drum and tell the story of the Rainbow Crow. Rainbow Crow? The crow featured on my weaving? Before long, as the story unfolded and I began to understand the significance of the story, chills began to run along my spine.
There were deep parallels between the sacrifice the crow had made for the good of the freezing forest animals and the sacrifice my brother had made in his life to teach me about love. Both the crow, his feathers burned black and voice destroyed, as he carried fire in his mouth to the freezing forest animals, and my brother's life, as he loved all, when loving all was so incredibly hard, were ruined in the process it seemed.
But that day in church, as I listened to the good that came of the crow's life. The fact that under its blackened feathers were all the colors of the rainbow and that the crow would never be hunted and would forever be free, I thought of my brother. His sacrifice resulted in teaching me a lesson that I will carry with me forever more. To love everyone fully, unconditionally, without fear, just as he had. Like the crow, the memories of my brother will be filled with beauty and thankfulness for the lesson he brought my way.
The weaving, the story, it all came together in a synchronicity of sorts. The story without the weaving or the weaving without the story would not have yielded as powerful a lesson. As I gaze upon the crow weaving, I notice the crow's feathers and how beautiful they are and I can't help but think of my brother and smile.