Dance, Dance, Dance!

I just finished watching two lovely movies. One, the Last Sin Eater, is a movie directed by Michael Landon Jr., and based on the novel by Francine Rivers. It is truly a work of subtle art that infuses the human spirit and Christ’s undying forgiveness into it. The second was M. Night’s “The Village”. What a sumptuous and delicious feast for the heart, eye, and mind. Ever since “6th Sense” M. Night has far been my favorite writer, director, and producer. His originality and subtle brilliance at storytelling leaves me with feelings I almost cannot capture. Visually stimulating and poignant, every word, every image, every facet of his work has a purpose. A true genius to behold. It is this visual imagery and this connection to the human spirit…the good and bad…that draws me so deeply to his work. He also can do a fairly good job about freaking you out, which I also happen to enjoy.

Bryce Howard (Ron Howard’s daughter) gives a powerful performance as Ivy Walker in this piece. In watching the extra’s I came across a four minute expert in which Bryce read from a diary she had kept from the entire experience. The way she captured her life during this period, I have to wonder if she captures it like this on a daily basis, sent my heart pounding. To think and relish life the way that she does…she sparkles, she digs down deep, she writes her soul, not just mere events upon a scrap of recycled wood. I felt with her, every heartbeat, every fear, every jitter of excitement infused as one. It made me desperate to put something down, to force a quill pen over homemade paper, to give my soul fully before it was lost to the television, technology, and duty of living in the 21st century. I think we’ve lost the art of journaling, for capturing a soul, for breathing life through the written word. Blogging is poor imitation…I know, why do I do then. I guess it is in the hopes of being heard, or maybe my fingers across a black keyboard can keep up with my mind more readily. Even now I want to draw my feelings the way Bryce drew hers, I find the metaphorical ink well running dry.

William Hurt (who plays her Father) and she were discussing the art of their experience on this film. He said that sometimes these experiences are like a dance, it is rare for it to happen, but when it does it is something to be savored for it might not come again. I began to look at life that way. In many ways we are dancing…many masquerades, some waltzes, some upbeat, some a sad ballet, we can dance in groups, two’s, or too often dance alone. I’ve been standing as still as a feather in a space of no wind to ruffle the delicate tendrils of my silken wing. I’ve tried not to even breathe, eyes firmly shut, desperately clapping my worn out shoes together wishing, like Dorothy, to be somewhere else, not certain if it is home or not. I’ve trembled at starting the dance again, knowing how I must look at times, afraid of losing control, or worse not hearing the music. The dead gong reverberates through my marrow a harrowing fear that this might be it. At any moment I’m certain that my mask will be ripped from me and when my eyes reveal what I’ve been trying to shut out, it will either be an empty dance hall or a mile of people laughing in my face.

The New Year I had made vows to the Father…I promised Him I’d follow if He would but ask me to dance. I have felt Him tenderly touch my face, encouraging, His hand about my waist, trembling I retreat into the shadows. What kind of dance will He ask of me? I’ve danced with Him before and I feel it has left a heavy burden on my shoulders? When I seek His face in the crowd what will I see? Approval or disappointment. How do I just seek Him? What does that look like?

Sometimes I feel I must dance or I will go mad. I’m left out of the banquet and trying to fight my way back in, spinning and twirling like mad, manic curls strung to their ends. I wish I were like Lucy in the Chronicles of Narnia and would simply follow Him no matter if anyone else can see Him or bothers to follow. I wish I could be sure of my visions of Him. I wish I could feel His touch tangibly, I wish I could focus on our dance solely instead of flirting with the world…craving a moment to tango in the flames. Maybe it is the stagnation that has become my life as of late, the existence not the experience that seems so familiar. I lived more in my mind than I think I have since I was a child.

How I wish to make haste…must make haste! The time is now there is no use waiting. I try to be so much too so many and forsake my first true and undying love. Jesus saw me as I was not as I should be, ugly warts and all, and found me captivating, He confidently strode across the dance floor and asked me for a dance. He protected me from the evil intent of others who had more than dancing on their minds. I envision Aslan, Lucy, and Susan playing on the hillside before the great battle at the end of the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, oh to be part of that tussle. I envision being spun around and around in a field of green, toes leaving the ground to stretch heavenward, blue bonnets and buttercups spilling from my ringlets as I spin, laughter caught on the wind until it reaches the ear of Him who loves me most. Oh breathless childlike wonder. We possess it, why do we so choose to repress it.

I cannot live for others; I will never satisfy everyone on what they think I should do. What do I want to do? Well, I want to be reckless for Him…I want to run without fear of anything, including death itself. As Sara Groves put it, until both the wick and wax are fully gone…no leftovers. I want to be completely who He wants me to be. I want this right brained whimsy and childlike wonder to flutter to the top and spill over. I want to be transparent so that people will be able to see Him, and then, just maybe He will ask them to dance and they will be carried away on their own adventure with someone who is both terrifying and good. I want to fight a good fight like Eowyn in Lord of the Rings…to be a daughter of kings in deed. I want to walk and not just talk.

I envision myself standing in a room; wood floor tarnished and dug in from many romping nights of music, laughter and fellowship. I can see the moons hallowed glow, and the twinkling stars through the open door in the back. The light from lanterns hung on white washed beams cast an inviting glow to travelers along the weary road. I’m dressed in a 19th century dress, soft purple with little white daisies bubbling about. My curls are braided with a sprig of lavender placed in the back; ringlets encircle my face, green eyes nearly keeping up with the stars. My weathered and worn lace up black boots adorn my feet, which are raised on tiptoes, rocking back and forth, while my arms lace around my back. My fingers are fidgeting with a handmade handkerchief embroidered in yellow roses. I’m humming…”Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe, sin had left a crimson stain, he washed me white as snow.” I hear the laughter of those around me. Some are enjoying refreshment, while others are chatting in comfortable groups. Time progresses and more travelers arrive, friendly smiles, and warm greetings are passed among hand shakes and giggles. The band tunes up and begins to play…soft and low at first, and then raising to their peak a rowdy sort of number that makes certain young folk dance upon the air. All the while I’m observing, keeping rhythm with my toe. He walks in casting a shimmer of a smile my way. My heart will surely explode before He makes His pardons to grasp my hand. Fear rises up in me and I shut my eyes and swallow hard. He touches my face gently sending warmth and peace. He takes my hand and pulls me confidently to the dance floor. The air smells of lavender and my feet touch air. I feel young and free, eight years old again in an open field being swung around by my Father, feet touching heavenward.

Shall I dance? My feet have to move first…I MUST take His hand. I can no longer look to the side or the back of me, or be concerned of the ought of the matter. I must do what I must. I must be reckless. I must let my heart take wing and soar by His side. Life is truly a dance or a play however you choose to look at it. It can be a tragedy, comedy, drama, or documentary. However, the only partner worth having, the only dance worth dancing, is with Him close by my side. I choose to hear His music in the night.

3 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying:
"I have loved you with an everlasting love;

I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
4 I will build you up again

and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel.

Again you will take up your tambourines

and go out to dance with the joyful…


…13 Then maidens will dance and be glad,

young men and old as well.

I will turn their mourning into gladness;

I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
Jeremiah 31: 3-4; 13

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