He recognized the somewhat scratchy voice and droll, mildly sardonic tones.
“And a gentle good morning to you, Raven Wing.” Granger had long since given up wondering how a graying, slightly robust woman could possibly get up three flights of stairs and into his office without a sound. She was, after all, half Umatilla Indian. The other half was the sneaky, stealthy side: her father was a Crow chief.
The Crows were champion horse thieves. A cavalry soldier standing picket duty had the reins of his horse tied to one wrist to keep it from being stolen. Imagine the barracks ribbing when he shamefacedly walked back to the camp with his rifle in one hand and several inches of his horse’s rein still tied to his other wrist. A Crow brave had snuck up, cut the rein and made off with horse, saddle and all. Granger chuckled, thinking Now that is counting coup.
“Amusement at Indian expense?”
“I was just wondering if the rein-snipper was your dad. You always get up those creaky old stairs without a sound. Not bad, Ancient One.”
“If I didn’t already have my coffee and wasn’t comfortably seated in one of your disgustingly mismatched chairs, I’d consider relieving you of some of that silver stuff you call hair.”
Granger grinned at his friend.
“Besides all that bloody stuff and stealing things, do you have any redeeming value to society?”
“Only half Crow, white man,” she huffed. “The other half is cultured and considered an elite of Native Americ—”
“Must I be bored to tears with your continuing attempts to elevate your dismal social standing by reminding me you’re part Umatilla? A tiny tribe remnant whose dialect all but disappeared and must be Googled under the general aegis of Sahaptin Yakama language?”
She sat staring, her obsidian eyes at once impenetrable and bottomless.
“Impressed I am. Read you can. Mmph.” Granger had to laugh out loud at an almost-perfect rendition of Yoda.
“Not in my office, you don’t. You do and you’ll clean it up.”
“My name. ‘Raven Wing’ in Umatilla. There are now 5 certified teachers helping our young relearn the richness of the Umatilla dialect. At the Pendleton Round-up in 2013, a young Umatilla Indian woman sang “The Star Spangled Banner” in the Umatilla dialect. First time. Ever.”
Granger raised his hands in mock surrender.
“Okay-okay. Tell you what. Next time the Crow half is sneaking up my stairs with skullduggery in mind, how about inducing the Umatilla half to sing, ‘Home On The Range’?”
The little decorative pillow his aunt had brought to him at Christmas just barely missed his left ear. The plock it made when it hit the wall made his eyebrows arch. Note to self: check out Gertie’s pillow before placing it anywhere within reach of indignant squaw. He peeked around his monitor, seeing the corner of her mouth quirked a half-inch. Ah. Good. Her grin was connecting her ears.
She raised her chin toward his computer.
“How ’bout quit goofing off and tell me what you are writing. Very serious when I come in.”
“And continually amazed. You know what Romans 8 says about God praying for us.” Her eyes drifted a bit out of focus and to the right as she thought.
“26 and 27… ‘The Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will . . . . and 34 … Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us.”
He waited. She sat absorbing, then looked back up at him and nodded once.
“This has always been such a profound truth to me: namely, that of all the things Jesus could be doing, having risen FAR above all the Universe’s power, real or imagined, He is interceding for me.
“And why? Because He experienced for a brief time how it feels to die without God. Evidence? “My God, WHY have YOU forsaken me?” is a literal universe of difference from, “Father, I’m really not too keen on drinking this cup . . .” That Oneness that had stood inviolable, had forever flowed unchecked between Father, Son and Holy Spirit suddenly was slashed apart by Sin’s keen separating blade. Jesus felt it as he cried out… God felt it as He turned away… The Holy Spirit? I haven’t yet explored that one. I shall, though. I’m thinking as THE premier creative genius of the Universe – of Creation – it had to so stun Him that the unmeasurable immensity of His ongoing work across the Universe’s reaches for a few moments of Time stopped. GOD knows what it feels like for a human to die without hope. THAT’S why The King of Kings sits in Celestial Control praying for you. For me. For them. What a truth!”
Raven Wing could sit so utterly still when thinking that she seemed even not to breathe. Granger had always held in deep value the ability to sit in company with a good friend in comfortable silence. Especially those with formidable intellect such as his Indian friend.
He sipped and waited.
“I once heard the Holy Spirit defined as the continuous, unimpeded flow of the perfect love between the Father and the Son.” She paused, pursing her lips as she worked her way through the rustling grass of her waving thoughts. “That being true, it would be the only time that flow would have been blocked. Considering everything happens in Forever at thought-speed, the Spirit would have instantly felt interruption, loss, grief, rejection and pain of separation for whatever slight period that event of the Son’s death and rising again would have taken. Never happened before or since.”
Granger sat this time, still, listening to the vibrations of silence. The sheer immensity of what Father, Son and Holy Spirit were simultaneously feeling – feeling like us – could not be measured.
“That helps me explain the WHY of this passage of Scripture. No wonder He’s interceding for us when He could be quite literally doing anything He chose. I’ll need to give this a lot more thoug—”
He heard her voice from the stairwell.
“And don’t call me ‘squaw’. Not married no more.”
Wrinkling his mouth and brow, he wondered again how she could be so stealthy when she was, ah . . .
Wait. How did she know I called her a—
© D. Dean Boone, April 2014