I believe in a dancing heart. To be a caring, loving person is what I strive for, what I thrive for—a skin I love to wear but doesn’t always fit. Sometimes it feels as stretched out as those neutral nylon socks I can never seem to throw away. I slide them on without thinking and by the time I’m out the door they’re droopy and annoying. Sometimes I feel like I’m wearing a plywood suit. So consumed in my past, present and future that I let anxiety and self-absorption hammer me down. A kind of interior paralysis covered by a thin veneer of normalcy. Then I can’t dance. My heart loves to dance, lifting me up. To twirl. To whirl. To be free. To be the person I really love and care about.
On one of my most recent conversations with God, I heard, “Mary, clear a path. Make more room for me to live in your heart. Have faith. Have trust. Have my love firmly planted in your path as you take every step.”
You see, when I draw closer to God, I care about others and I dance. I won’t go as far as saying I’m completely balanced but I am much more aware of God’s presence. I listen more patiently. I behave more in synch with the teachings of Jesus. I move with a caring rhythm in God’s timing that helps others move to a cleansing beat. I feel God’s grace dance in my heart when I give with outreached arms to those who need a loving listener with no strings attached. And I dance. Oh how I love to dance. Whether I glide to Mozart, rock steady to the Rolling Stones, or create motion to improvisational jazz, if I ask, the light of the Holy Spirit will dance in me.
From my deep Southern Baptist roots to my rebellious, self-indulgent years to my blackout religion period, I now reach out to God through a community of faith. I have experienced the power of prayer firsthand in my life. I learned valuable skills through the Stephen Ministry. But I have a deep thirst to learn new dances from God. Most importantly, I want to always remember, I never dance alone. Joining in, stepping back, giggling, disappointed, tearful or applauding, God is there.
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