Medicine bear drawingThe weekend before last I was in Milwaukee for a holistic fair. While there I had the pleasure to meet Dennis (Rocky) King, a medicine healer from the Bear Clan of the Oneida nation.

I’ve had a lot of bears come into my life lately – in dreams, in my art, and, just a few weeks ago, a bear crossed twice in front of me while visiting my aunt’s cabin near Manistique, MI. So naturally, we got to talking.

By the end of the day, we had arranged a trade. He gave me an awesome Bear Medicine healing, and I am working on a piece of art for him, featuring Medicine Bears. (The sketch above is a preparation for the final piece, which will be in watercolor.)

So, anyway, while we were talking he told me a story about two little girls.

Rocky worked for several years as a teacher’s aide on the reservation. He had a special relationship with the kids because he would listen to them and take them seriously. But one time two little second grade girls claimed something he just couldn’t bring himself to believe.

“Rocky, we can lift you up!” they said.

You have to know Rocky. He is literally a bear of a man. Tall, and big. He has to weigh at least 250 pounds. (Here is his picture, modeling for the bear painting:)

Native American Healer“No way,” he said. “You can’t lift me up.”

“Yes, we can!” they insisted. So finally he gave in and let them try.

“They each grabbed me around one of my knees,” he told me. “I grounded myself and made myself really heavy, but they just looked at each other and said ‘one, two, three!’ and on three they lifted me straight up! I couldn’t believe it! What those two little Indian girls could do.”

He said he told one of the teachers later about it and she just looked at him and said, “Rocky, you’re so funny. Tell me another one.” But when he told his medicine man mentor, the man looked serious and said, “Well, of course. Children can do amazing things, before anyone tells them they can’t.”

When Jesus said, “become like a little child,” perhaps this is part of what he meant.

Believe in yourself. You are more powerful than you know.