"Let me dance with you"
Um okay, but I have something WORSE than two left feet
Of all the talents I could have been blessed with, God did not bless me with the ability to dance. Yes, I have rhythm (15 years of piano and subsequent pedagogical study will do that to you). Yes, I have soul (God says so). And yes, I have locomotor skills (my elementary PE school teacher said so).
But apparently in my case, put it all together and you still don’t have a person who can dance — though maybe they’d be pretty good at clapping on the offbeat at a jazz concert.
I am not the type of person to “dance in the rain” or “dance on my own”. That’s too much effort and a little too vulnerable for my liking. Dancing with other people can be fun, but in my life so far I’ve had the opposite effect on people. Consider the following:
At my grad dinner and dance, I knocked my grad date in the head when he tried to twirl me. Since he was on the football team I suppose he was prepared for it, but naturally the football field never saw a girl in five-inch heels coming at them, fists swinging. Plus, we established that the football helmet wouldn’t go with the colour scheme we selected (a light aquamarine, in case you were wondering).
At a new year’s eve dance at a conference I went to in 2016, I was dancing with someone who actually did competitive ballroom dancing — this one’s on me, I shouldn’t have danced with someone way out of my league — but I could tell they were visibly in pain as my heel dug into their dress shoe one too many times.
I went to a cèilidh (pronounced “kay - lee”) a few years ago. Most of the time I had no idea what I was doing.
I was at a wedding recently, and now everything feels sore and like Mom’s Spaghetti. Ironically, I am having spaghetti as I write this… but it’s not mom’s.
Suffice it to say, dancing is not something I would put on my resumé.
I mentioned in my last post that I’m in a time of transition. As with most moments of transition (or most moments in my life for that matter), the number one thing I struggle with is trust. More specifically, I find it hard to trust in God.
When you dig into it, “trust in God” is a broad statement with lots of wide reaching elements to it. Do I trust that God has my best interests at heart? Do I trust that the job will get done?
But something struck me this morning as I started to think and overthink this idea of trust in God’s goodness and whether or not I could actually trust Him.
I was listening to the podcast Restore The Glory this morning, and was listening to a series they are doing on “security, maturity, and purity”. (Sidebar: Restore The Glory is AWESOME and it’s a must listen, and hosts Jake Khym and Bob Schuchts are incredible.)
On the thread in trusting God, Bob used the analogy of partner dancing. Full disclosure, I shook my head and said to myself, “Oh no, not THIS analogy again.”
But then, Bob took it to a level that left me in shock, and subsequently I brought it with me to prayer: “Jesus is the lead. In fact, the word ‘guidance’ means ‘God, you and I dance — G-U-I-DANCE.”
“Let me dance with you” is the invitation I get from the Lord.
“Let me lead. Let me guide you. Let me help you trust me.”
I talk a pretty big game about being the worst dancer ever. But maybe there is a part of me that is afraid of how far that inability runs. And to be clear, I’m not just talking about dancing any more: I’m talking about the inability to truly follow the lead of the one who only has eyes for me. And maybe that inability borders into deliberately not following and not trusting.
As with any good gentleman, Jesus extends hand in a gesture of openness, inviting me to dance. He patiently leads, navigates His feet to match mine, and expertly dodges any chance that I punch Him in the head. But at the same time, He waits with bated breath as He invites me to deeper trust. “Do you trust me?”
The question has never been whether or not God has my best interests at heart, because deep in my heart I know He does — even if I don’t always understand how He goes about it.
The question has never been whether or not the job will get done, because I know it will — even if it doesn’t happen as quickly as I’d like it to.
I’ve found that in scripture, Jesus often answers a question with a question — one of the most annoying ways to answer a question. But at the heart of all my of questions, He returns back every time with the same one: “Do you trust me?”
From one season to the next, in the midst of every change, God is the only thing who doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. With every movement I make, God doesn’t overwrite, roll His eyes, or force me into the downbeat. He moves with me, making all things new, encouraging me to keep dancing even when I stumble.
In that way, I hope you keep dancing, too.
In the meantime… a friend who keeps an EXCELLENT blog wrote about this analogy of Jesus and the partner dance in an excellent way, and I’ll let her take it from here.
Also, if you’re curious, this is the episode of Restore The Glory that I was referencing in the post. It’s part two of a three-part series, so I recommend going back to part one and listening from there.
United in the Eucharist,