One of the strengths of many theological perspectives outside of the Western tradition is attentiveness to the revelation the comes from creation. This is especially evident in the viewpoint of North American indigenous peoples (also called, generally, First Nation or Native American; or by their specific lineage association) who are Christian.
Prism Magazine, an online publication of Evangelicals for Social Action, published an article with Randy Woodley, founder of Eagle’s Wings Ministry, Inc., a largely Native American community in Newberg, OR, USA, in which he expands on how he finds the value in the revelation of creation.
In what ways do you encounter Christ in the people you serve?
Well, I find Christ in the most unlikely places. I think Jesus occupies the whole earth and beyond. So I not only encounter him in other people but also in all of creation. It seems to me that God is always interested in my conversion, not just in the conversion of those I encounter. This means being changed into Christ’s likeness by his truth. I find truth of Christ in a tree, a butterfly, and even in the soil itself. I find Christ in the people who are like me but even more in those different from me. I encountered Christ in an amazing way the other day through three homeless young men. As they sat and shared, I thought about the wise men in the birth narrative of Christ. Their wisdom was simple and yet so profound. I especially sense God’s presence in community when all people have a voice. It seems to me that the Spirit especially creates new ways for us to think and find new options when the dignity of everyone’s voice is heard.
The full article, as well as Randy Woodley’s biography can be found here.
Eagle’s Wings Ministry and the work of Randy Woodley is “based on the Native American “harmony way” (shalom) tradition of spiritual and emotional health, social and environmental balance, and economic prosperity, Eagle’s Wings seeks to model and promote the wellbeing of Native American and other communities in ways that are culturally contextual, holistic, and community-based.”
A further interview with Dr. Woodley, in which he responds to questions about his faith and community can be found here.