Talking To A Dine' Medicine Man

BY Phillip B Gottfredson

I spent a day talking to a Dine' medicine man, and although I have talked to many I have never had the opportunity to spend as much time as I did a couple days ago. Here is a man who was raised from childhood to be a spiritual leader. He has been shall we tutored by an endless list of sacred people in his culture and has known nothing else. Quite an extraordinary experience for me, as I have not meet anyone before with that kind of background. But what struck me was that even though he has been in a rather closed segment of his society I was amazed by how keenly aware he is of the real world. Not just in broad terms but in the most intimate details as though he is westernized, but clearly he is not. It sounds as a contradiction, but that is the amazing aspect of this person. 

Well, we carried on a conversation non stop for six hours at a truck stop in the middle of nowhere. I was invited by him to meet there. Now neither of us had any money, only enough between us for coffee. I was hungry I hadn't eaten all day and used the last of money for gas to get there and back. The waitress continued to serve us coffee, when she came over and asked, "do you guys want something to eat?" I politely said ...aaa well we only have enough for coffee. She said again, what would you like to eat? I said well I guess we better leave is what your saying. She said, No! I am buying you two a meal, so tell what you want. Would a couple hamburgers and fries be OK? We said yes, but why are you doing this, I asked. She said I will be right back with your meal and walked away. 

My friend and I sat looking at each other in disbelief of what had just happened when we both said, "It's Spirit!" We sat there grinning. When the waitress returned she said, "God moves in mysterious ways, OK? I just could tell you where hungry and wanted to help." 

I turned back to my friend and said, you slipped her some money right? He replied, no I did not, when people come together for a good reason and good intentions things like this happen. 

Life is so very interesting, and there are people who are unbelievably kind. My friend left a tobacco tie outside in a tree with prayers to bless her for her kindness.