Great Impressions

 Richard Twiss

Richard Twiss

There are some souls you come across in your life whose imprint they make on your own is more than the hands you hold every day.  Richard Twiss (Taoyate Obnajin: He Stands With His People) was such a soul.  And today, as the world cries, dances and drums their response to his death, I am humbled and challenged by the deep and lasting impression Richard made on my life.

A personal sense of what it means to live on behalf of something began to form soon after I first met Richard at Seattle Pacific University in 2004.  His story and teachings from the perspective of a First Nations person silenced and stunned me, and implored that I reject the insidious ethnocentric ways of our culture and Church.  His dancing prayers displayed an understanding of the Creator for which I had always yearned, but never found within the four-walls of our standard sanctuaries.  Richard's visceral understanding of all actions, decisions and hopes being born out of a respect for future generations shamed my consumer-lifestyle.  The deep joy of living forward from this place took hold of me!

I had the wonderful opportunity to facilitate a Native Expressions of Faith workshop for Seattle-area church and lay leaders at Seattle Pacific University in 2007, where once again I was able to work alongside this tremendous soul.  As I danced with my prayers and my feet kept the drum circle's beat, I recall feeling the clarity and formation of a personal mission statement that has informed my vocational call and way our family lives our life: to live on behalf of Other and the Future

I bow to you, Richard, in deep gratitude for the life you walked along the path of the Waymaker.  I am forever changed because of your response to the Creator.  May the Spirit brood over your family as they continue their journey on this side.

 My personal altar to honor the life of richard twiss 

My personal altar to honor the life of richard twiss