August 23, 1862
“In the morning, the Dakota soldiers surround the town of New Ulm; the fighting soon moves into town. Using outlying buildings for cover, the Dakota fire on the town’s defenders from windows and doorways. Taoyateduta’s (Little Crow) men set fire to buildings near the river. The smoke causes panic and confusion, but the defenders hold their ground. After hours of fighting the defenders make a desperate charge at the Dakota, even setting fire to the building the Dakota are using as cover. At sunset the Dakota retreat, leaving 32 townspeople dead and more than 60 wounded. More than a third of the town lies in ruins.” *
Again, Lord, what is your heart for this exact moment on August 23, 1862? I confess my heart of conquest Jesus, and ask to be made right so that I can be pure to pray with and for my brothers. I repent of the ways and practices in my mind and heart that wants to completely extinguish the will and thoughts of another to replace it with my will. I rebuke the heart of the enemy within in me that says,”My will be done.”
Jesus, I observe this to You:
1. The Dakota were hurt and offended by the Representatives and people of Minnesota and U.S.
2. Their hurt gets turned into shame. “This state of Minnesota does not care if we live or die. All it seems to want from us is cheap land and resources.”
3. The shame triggers the pain of the Dakota. “I will prove that I am a worthy man. I will prove that we are a worthy people. If the nation of Minnesota will not honor us, then at least it will learn to respect and fear us.”
4. The offensive words and thoughts of Minnesota and the U.S. towards the Dakotas’ manifest into their actual offensive; and action-based judgments.
Lord, as Your child, I want to ask that You forgive both parties their offenses against each other. We have sinned against You when we sin against our brother the Dakota, the Minnesotan, and the American. We have spoken words against his value as a man, as a people, and are therefore guilty of speaking against Your value as his Father. Will You forgive us this arrogance against You?
“You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.” Romans 14:10
Christ, we have responded in shame. Christ, we have responded in pain. Christ, we have let the enemy of our souls lead us to war with each other. Christ, will You stand between us a second time? Will You restore the Dakota to New Ulm and vice versa? Will You give us a new mind of grace and truth for each other? Our generations? Our dwellings? Our (temporary) property?
Will You heal our disrespect past so that we can rightly engage each other in the present? Give us the gift of staying in the present with all First Nation and Minnesota dealings? Will You give us soft hearts, just laws, and a blessed common future?