Mourning Into Dancing

27 February, 2010

Dancing Roma man, Skopje, Macedonia, 2009.

Dancing Roma man. Skopje, Macedonia. 2009.

I walked the narrow streets of a Roma enclave in Skopje, Macedonia and came upon this man who greeted me with a smile and a small spontaneous dance. What a wonderful introduction to the Roma people in this extremely poor community. Macedonia is among the poorest countries in Europe and the Roma are the poor among the poor. Yet, this man seemed to have genuine joy and expressed it to me, a total stranger roaming his streets.

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing: You have put off my sackcloth, and clothed me with gladness; – Psalm 30:11

Surely we Christians should express such spontaneous joy. That song comes to mind, I Hope You Dance. This secular song can present us with a challenge.

I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance; Dance
I hope you dance (1)

I see it as a special challenge to get involved, to step out, to live life, and to do so with joy and in step with God. In so many ways life is like a dance. You either dance with careful, stiff and stuttering steps, carefully regarding those who watch and self-conscious of how your steps are received. Or, you dance without regard for how you are perceived, with abandon to that music which fills your heart from a higher Source.

Regardless of how your song starts or what changes in key you find as you move from verse to chorus, when you final reach the coda I hope your dance inspired others, but like David’s dance was intended for God alone.

(1) © 2004 MCA Nashville, a Division of UMG Recordings, Inc. Artist: Lee Ann Womack

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