For me, dancing is godliness.
Once, I filled out a survey at a Baptist church I was attending at a ministry fair. They asked us to fill in the blank spot if we didn’t see our “spiritual gift” identified at any of the ministry booths. I didn’t see a booth for dancing. So I wrote in “dancing.”
No one called me about that.
Still, I’ve always believed that God gave me a unique ability to feel music and move to it without even thinking about it. It’s easy. It’s natural. I love it, and that and writing are the two things I do without questioning whether or not I’m doing them well–maybe because I love them so much that I just don’t care. As John Eldredge alludes to in his book Wild at Heart, find what you love to do and that’s what you’re supposed to be doing with your life. That’s God’s will for you.
Well, then, I guess I’m supposed to be dancing and writing.
So here I am. Writing about dancing.
I just finished reading the book Wild at Heart. It was given to me by someone I consider to be my spiritual soul mate. It’s been sitting on a shelf for about two years at my house. Recently, I saw the same book at the house of someone I care deeply about. It reminded me that I needed to read it myself. So I did. Like every other John Eldredge book I’ve read, I didn’t want to stop once I started. And it brought up years of untreated wounds and unshed tears. Every book I read by him is more than a great read–it’s a healing process.
I won’t give it all away, but Wild at Heart is really written for men and about men and their God-given design. It touches on the same things for women, though. I’ve read the book Captivating, the counterpart for women, written by John and his wife Stasi, but for some reason the tidbits in Wild at Heart spoke to me on a deeper level or in a different way than the entire book for women did. Maybe I’m at a different place in life now than I was when I read the other book. More teachable, perhaps. Ready to grieve. Open to healing.
Whatever it was, God used it to move me in ways I can’t even go into in a simple blog post. I’ll just stick to the dancing theme for now. John Eldredge tells the story of how, as little girls, women dance before their fathers and twirl around, asking the questions, “Do you see me? Do you think I’m lovely? Do you think I’m worthy?”
And the sad responses that many little girls–and women, later–receive (from their fathers and other men) are answers like, “No, I don’t have time for you right now,” or “You’re just all right,” or “You’re not as important as this or that,” or nothing. Silence. And our whole lives, as women, we’re waiting for one man to be the man God designed him to be–a man who will fight for us, protect us, and be wild about us. But he doesn’t show up. And he doesn’t see us dancing. Or just doesn’t care.
This has been my life.
Monday morning–after, I might say, a few incredibly emotionally trying days–I was sitting on my front porch before work drinking coffee. Rain poured down around me. As I sat there having a conversation with God about the things going on in my life and my heart, a very deep voice spoke this verse in my head, “If you seek Me, you’ll find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” There was then a stillness in me and around me.
Then suddenly, and I hesitate to use these words–even as I type them, tears come to my eyes because I don’t use this language and haven’t really for years–I felt what I can really only describe as the Holy Spirit overwhelming my entire body. I had to sit back in my chair and close my eyes. Tears came down my face. I couldn’t even breathe. It was almost charismatic. I sat there for a while until the feeling left me. When I opened my eyes, the rain had stopped.
I heard a voice say to me, “I see you dancing.”
And I said back, “I know You do.”
And more tears came to me. Because I knew why He said it and where that came from.
Then I said, “But I didn’t even ask You for this.” There have been times in my life when I asked God for some sign, some feeling, some real movement of Him in my life. I haven’t been asking for things like that lately. I’ve prayed for God’s will a lot lately. That’s about it. This was out of nowhere. It was just a gift.
And He said, “I know. But I just love You.”
And I said, “I know You do.”
And He does.
Psalm 30:11–“You turned my mourning into dancing. You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.”