Day 1 in Browning 2016
None of us really remember getting up. We just awoke an hour into our trip on the road. Pretty sure Dan kidnapped us all. The first thing we remember is him asking us what our spirit animals are. Still not sure how all nine of us fit in a single van…
But seriously, at 6:45 in the morning, none of us were exactly wide awake! Dan zoomed up to the sidewalk in a sleek black Chrysler van, the bass booming and vibrating the entire vehicle. We tossed our bags in the back of the rental cars, and just like that we were off.
On our way, we stopped in Valier to pick up the last member of our fellowship, the MVP, Kurt Parker. We arrived at the Little Flower Parish in time for 10:30 mass. This was our first real encounter with the Blackfeet spirituality. They were truly a family, united not by blood, but by the Spirit of God. Walking into that Church was walking into a home. Throughout the ceremony we listened to the peaceful noise of a family, sharing a meal together.
The sign of peace was a special expression of this familial love. There was neither end nor boundary. It was a continuous sharing of the joy of community. And again, we were not excluded. Though no one knew our names, they came from across the Church to share with us just as they did for their other brothers and sisters.
Our next encounter with Blackfeet spirituality came at the top of a cliff. This cliff represented a plateau in our journey to seek God. It has always been a sacred place for the Blackfeet people. It was a buffalo jump, where the people first received communion with God through the buffalo.
Though our encounter came to completion on top of the buffalo jump, it began at the bottom. The trek was not long, but it was difficult. Though we could see what was in front of us, it still surprised us. We did not know how the terrain would react to our presence. The snow was sliding all over the place, leaving us wavering, unsure how to proceed. But we all made it to the top. In many ways this is a reflection of the week to come. We need to be open to what God has planned, and the journey He wants us to take.
We are excited for the adventures ahead!
Courtenay and Dillon