Tag Archives: The Divine Embrace

Will You Dance?

Tears of the Savior

The other day, I posted a quotation from The Divine Embrace, a book by Ken Gire in which he likens our lives to a divine dance. At the beginning of one chapter, he writes:

Friedrich Nietzsche, the German philosopher who popularized the “God is dead” movement, once wrote in a letter to a friend: “If these Christians want me to believe in their god, they’ll have to sing better songs, they’ll have to look more like people who have been saved, they’ll have to wear on their countenance the joy of the beatitudes. I could only believe in a God who dances.”

What Nietzsche failed to realize is that our God, who is very much alive, is a God who dances. What we Christians sometimes fail to realize is that he is a God who dances with us.

To speak of our relationship with Christ as a dance is, of course, to speak metaphorically. But it is also to speak biblically. In the parable of the Prodigal Son, for example, the father’s joy at his son’s return was cause for celebration — at which, the text says, there was feasting, music, and dancing. In Matthew 11:17, Jesus also uses the metaphor to describe the generation that rejected him. “We played the flute for you,” he told them, “and you did not dance.” Jesus invited them to dance, longed for them to dance, and was heartbroken when they didn’t.

When I read that, it grieved me to think of how many throughout history have turned away from the joy of knowing who Christ truly is because they did not see traces of him on the faces or in the lives of those who claimed to know him.

And I wondered, what do people see when they look at me?

 

You claim you cannot believe

In a God who doesn’t dance

How could he not dance

Who created music

Tuned the universe

From pieces smaller than the atom

To the orchestra of His purpose

 

A tune so deep

One could listen all his life

But only catch a glimpse

Here and there

In a tear

A prayer

A moment of sheer joy

A dream

An embrace

A cloud passing over the moon

These moments that whisper

“There is a song”

 

So dance

With him who holds the music

And dances to the music of your heart

One day you will hear the music

The song from beginning to end

Every faint strain you detect now

Then a glorious symphony

 

Will you dance?

To the music for which your soul

Was created?

 

Will you dance?

To the tune for which

Your heart has cried?

 

Will you dance?

Or will you sit it out?

Fearing that no one else

Hears the music

 

Maybe they are waiting

For someone to stand up

Step out

And show them that he dances

And he taught you how

By placing the rhythm

Deep within your heart

Will you dance?

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The Lord of the Dance

I Hope you DanceKen Gire, in The Divine Embrace, writes about reflecting on where Jesus has taken us on the “dance floor” of our lives. Sometimes the dance goes so fast, the steps so dizzying, that we don’t recognize until much later that there was a pattern to it all.

But there is always a pattern – a reason for each step, a place He is leading.

Why do we so often fail to recognize this? Maybe we, in some ways, fear our own past, the decisions we’ve made – mainly those decision we know led us in the wrong direction. The times we tripped or stumbled on the dance floor – bruised our tailbone and our ego – are not things we want to see on instant replay. We want to forget them. Leave them buried. Move beyond them. Pretend such embarrassing or exposing moments never happened.

But in doing so, we forfeit something.

When I refuse to reflect, I forfeit the memory of the grace He offered at that moment when He held out His hand and lifted me up from where I had fallen. When He sat by my side until I was ready to dance again. When He held me in His arms and wiped away my tears. When He promised, “There is still a symphony. There is still a dance. And I still want to dance with you.”

The moments He takes our trips and stumbles and creates something precious – more so than a perfect dance without a single misstep. He creates grace and beauty. He extends His love.

Such moments we would do well to remember because those are the moments that show us the heart of He who is the Lord of the dance.

Dear Lord,

Thank you for each moment

With you on the dance floor

I love the rush, the exhilaration

The synchronic steps

Especially when they make sense

And I know where I’m going

But it doesn’t usually happen that way

For that is not the way you dance

So I falter. I stumble. I trip.

And I am afraid

That others will see and know I really have no idea what I’m doing.

Where I’m going.

“I’ll sit this one out.”

But you follow me. Sit with me.

Hold my hand and squeeze it when the music quickens, the beat changes.

As if to say, “Come on, this will be fun.”

Thank you for staying with me

For patiently waiting

And not taking my first “no” as my final answer

Thank you that you know me better

My fear. My timidity.

Yet you know I’ll be happiest

On the dance floor with you

Following your lead

Stepping in time to your rhythm

Even when I falter

Even when I stumble

Having your arms around me

So I never completely fall

Help me not fear to look back, even at the most embarrassing parts of the dance

To remember where you’ve led

THAT you’ve always led

And always stayed with me

I accept your hand

And join you in the dance once more