Thursday, March 23, 2006


My mother taught ballroom dancing at our local community school. I loved to watch her get dressed up in her elegant silk dress, pearl earrings and necklace. I can still see her standing before the oval mirror in the hallway, her eyes so bright - so full of life. My father looked handsome too, dressed up in his dark suit. I loved to watch him admire my mother. You could see the lovelight in his eyes. He would smile at her and she seemed to glow, radiantly beautiful to my little girl eyes.

It was like poetry in motion to watch them waltz together - fluid grace - seemingly effortless. They were perfect partners. Yet, I know that it took much practice and patience for them to learn how to move together as one.

Beginners make awkward partners. Dancers must execute the same moves over and over again until their feet know instinctively where to go - and where not to go.

My mother had a gracious way of letting the beginner dancer feel like a pro as she patiently guided them through the steps. She never showed any exasperation with their stumbling steps or made any comment other than a polite little "Oops!" when they stepped on her toes. But when dance class was over, I remember the groans as she eased off her high-heeled shoes and rubbed her bruised toes. The discomfort never deterred her - the joy of dancing was so deeply ingrained that she loved to share it with others.

My relationship with the Lord is like a dance. Of course, He is the perfect Partner and knows the dance inside and out. I find that I am often an awkward partner. I balk at His leading. I am stiff in His embrace.

My greatest impediment is not that I go ahead of Him, but rather, that I stop in the middle of the dance. I find it hard to trust that He is leading - that He knows where we are going.

Unexpected events - disappointments - tragedies - all require a deep trust and submission in the One who is leading.

Thankfully, He not only knows the dance, He knows me, His partner. He's committed to teach me. He is infinitely patient. He is graciousness defined.

I am discovering that the more I look at Him in His beauty, the less I worry about the steps of the dance. The more I experience His deep compassion, the less I wonder about where we are headed, about the things of tomorrow or how things will work out. I find myself relaxing in His arms - more and more certain of His tender regard and His ability to lead.

I see in His eyes a lovelight that is so deep and radiant that sometimes I feel overwhelmed. He makes me feel so loved - infinitely precious - even beautiful.

Such love awakens in me a deep desire to give myself fully to Him - abandon myself to His love - His purpose - His will.

There is a deep freedom that comes with this choice. I am experiencing, more and more, the joy of the dance - the feel of the rhythm - the sound of the music.

Increasingly, there are moments of sheer delight when I sense that we are moving as one. He works through me, His stumbling, imperfect partner, and allows me the joy of reaching into the darkness bringing the light of His presence and power to others.

This is my deepest happiness. I don't ask for anything more.