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I Can

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My favorite TV show is in new episodes right now. I wait for it every summer So You Think You Can Dance. It's like American Idol only with dancers and nicer judges. I used to be a dancer. I could leap with the best of them, put my leg over my head and do 16 fouettes turns in a row. I loved dancing; I loved the discipline it required and the freedom that came during a performance when all the hard work paid off. When I was in high school I was asked to dance as part of a worship service and discovered that dancing also could be a spiritual practice. The music and the movement became a prayer. When all was well with my world dance became a way of expressing gratitude. When life was hard and uncertain, dance became my plea for assurance of God's presence. When I wanted to tell people of God's love I danced the narrative of God's grace and mercy. When I danced I was a better person, physically and spiritually.

As time passed and life happened I danced less and less. Marriage, children and vocation all deserved much of my time and over the years I made the choice, almost without realizing it, to dance less until I was hardly dancing at all. (Although I was awesome in my living room during SYTYCD!) Then about two months ago someone sent me a video of a little girl dancing with complete joy and abandon to 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman and something woke up in me. It's as if God was reminding me of my own experience of joy and abandon. Then the conversation started. You've probably had the same kind of conversation with God, it goes like this:

God: "Remember how much you loved this"
Me: "Oh yes, it was amazing. Too bad I'm old now."
God: "You're not old. You want to talk to me about old?"
Me: "I mean for a human. My body just doesn't work that way anymore."
God: "You mean you can't worship?"
Me: "Not like I used to."
God: "It wasn't your body that was worshipping. It was your soul."
Me: "Oh."

The conversation went on for quite a while. I kept reasoning with God that I just didn't have time, my joints hurt, I had no place to dance but I kept seeing that little girls joy and I longed for it again. Have you had these conversations? The ones where you make excuses and explanations about what you can't do? Maybe it's that you can't go back to school, or try for a job, or make that hard phone call. It could be anything. If you're like me you sometimes live in a world of I can't because ______ (fill in your reason). What if we lived in a world where we said we can because God is with us.

I started taking a dance class a few weeks ago. I can't dance like I used to dance, but I've discovered that is okay. Itisn't about how I look, it's about how my soul feels when I dance and it is amazing.

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