I’m not very good with music. Technically, I am good with an instrument, but only when precision is required. I do not have an ear for music, nor the voice and not the feet. While I can sway or bop to the rhythm, my feet are clumsy when I dance. I’ve been out of step with the Macarena and taken out a row in the Electric Slide.
At least they all found it funny, but really how EMBARRASSING! And dangerous too! Now, I only dance carefully with my husband. It is best to hold on to him and sway with the music. So imagine my surprise the other day, when the Lord whispered to my soul, “Dance with Me.”
22 “How blessed you are whenever people hate you and ostracize you and insult you and denounce you as a criminal on account of the Son of Man. 23 Be glad when that happens; yes, dance for joy! because in heaven your reward is great. For that is just how their fathers treated the prophets.” [Luke 6:22-23, The Complete Jewish Bible]
Me dance? I wondered. With the world in shambles. Friends and foes against me? I don’t feel it. How can I dance with the Lord? Is this possible? “But Lord,” I whispered back, “Just like singing, I’m not good at dancing.” I waited in silence, listening and longing for understanding. Finally, I “heard” a whisper in my soul. “I know, just follow my lead.”
At first I thought, what does this mean? Since I never followed ‘the lead’ well in a dance I tend to stomp on toes or wipe out other dancers. Early on, I just danced by myself “bopping to my own beat” as they used to say in the 80s. My mind wandered to what it is like to watch true dancers, whether choreographed or couples dancing. The beauty takes my breath away.
I thought of my water ballet lessons. Without gravity, I could create a dance of sorts. Growing up, I was more comfortable in the water than on land. In the water, I could actually be somewhat graceful. Swimming and water ballet also required precision. I could handle that! Each of our routines had a leader. This reminds me of dance needing a leader, otherwise it is chaos. Not following a dancing partner is frustrating and awkward. Even when dancing alone, I have to be aware of others and objects. Like the bruiser known as a coffee table.
My thoughts wandered into prayer and I wondered, is this like what I call guidance? I heard in my soul, “Yes. Take the day and follow My lead.” I prayed for the Lord to keep me focused on Him and His Dance throughout that day. The first day went well. Just like learning a new routine. I focused on being a good partner for my Lord. I watched for His signals, nudges and listened for His voice. The day flowed like it should.
The next few days, I stumbled a lot. My focus switched back and forth between what I wanted and the Lord’s lead. Several times I found myself lost, not knowing what step to take next. When I called on the Lord, a thought or nudge would move me back into the dance. The following day, I determined I would follow the dance more closely again.
The day went well, but not at all as I planned. Following the Lord’s nudges, it seemed everything I touched turned into a bigger project than I planned. Frustrated, I asked the Lord, “what happened?” He answered, “Didn’t you finish everything today?” I had to respond with a grateful yes. When I told my husband about this, he said, “It was not your plan but His Plan.” This caused me to chuckle and quip, “Well, the dance today was a quick step!” referring to how we jumped from task to task to complete the day.
The next day, I went to a Mass dedicated to my family. I scheduled these masses last year after the rift between our family members. The rift is still there and I still feel the loss. Here is the amazing thing. I did not know what Saint day was scheduled for each Mass. I took what was available for each month as close to family milestones as possible. The Lector announced the Mass was for Our Lady of Sorrows. I almost fell off the pew. Talk about God’s timing! Our Lady of Sorrows recalls the sorrows Mary, the Mother of Jesus, suffered. These are a mother’s sorrows. I knew then this Mass was for me and my children. All day I swayed in my Lord’s Slow Dance with healing, grace, and faith. By evening, I went to bed thanking God for His timing and love.
Yesterday, I awoke early with scrambled thoughts. I found my focus scattered in many directions. Even my soul was unsettled as I worried about my family and the day ahead. I knew I needed to get back to practice the dance. A dancer cannot dance without practice. With my prayer book, I prayed for His protection, peace, and my focus. I heard His Voice in my soul, “This is a spiritual battle.” I knew then where to start; I needed to pray as a warrior. It was time for a fierce dance to take back my joy. It took a while and cut into my writing time. But, what a prize! I stepped back into a dance of joy with my Lord!
Every day our dance, or journey if you prefer, is different. The dance may be slow and meaningful, a fierce fight, sorrowful, or lively. What matters is spending the time with our Lord and Savior though-out our day. We don’t have to fit him in between the tasks. We just have let him lead the dance. He is with us every step of the way. Let’s dance!
Father, we come to you in the dance with joy and thanksgiving. At this time, the world hates and persecutes us for our faith in You. Your scripture reminds us to “dance for joy!” Some days it is hard to dance because of the sorrows and hurts piled on us right now. Thank you for the gifts of peace and joy as we choose to follow Your Lead. Continue to teach us and draw us closer to you. Increase our faith and strength as we take your hand and step into the dance. In Jesus’ name, amen. In the name of the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, amen. Thank you, Father.
May your dance today be blessed beyond measure,