Monday, August 29, 2005

Dance, Then, Wherever You May Be

Sometimes when I’m singing a familiar hymn or saying a familiar prayer, a veil lifts and I am allowed to glimpse the powerful meaning behind the words.  

This happened to me on Sunday.

I love the old Shaker hymn, The Lord of the Dance.  I love the bouncy music, the imagery, especially of the chorus:

“Dance, then, wherever you may be.
“I am the Lord of the Dance,” said He.
“I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,
“I’ll lead you all in the Dance,” said He.

This Sunday,  I was suddenly struck by the phrase:  “I’ll lead you all wherever you may be…”   Jesus will lead us wherever we are in our journey in faith, in life.  I don’t have to be perfect.  I don’t have to be a saint.  When Jesus called the Apostles, he called them from their everyday lives:  fishermen, tax collectors, ordinary men.  He did not require they go through intensive interviews or extensive training.  He did not require that they prove their intellectual prowess.  He led them from where they were, as He leads us from where we are:  parent, worker, son, daughter, spouse, believer, nonbeliever, or even those on the cusp.  He leads me, despite my temper, my impatience, my doubt.  I am invited to Dance with Him from where I am now and to move forward in the Dance to its conclusion.  Jesus is a patient partner.  He will go over the steps with me as often and as many times as I need them until I get It.  Until I understand.  Until I can Dance as naturally, as freely, and as un-Self-consciously as I was intended to as a Child of God.