We stand in a circle and we laugh and share our stories and when someone mentions we should start a Zumba class, right in the basement of our church, she lowers her eyes and shifts her feet and she says she can’t dance.
I want to know who told her that. I want to tell her everyone can dance.
We all start out with dancing in our souls. Toddlers bouncing, with feet planted and toes curled up in blades of grass as dragonflies sail past. They clap their hands and grin wide smiles and everyone who sees them beams with joy.
In kindergarten, little girls in purple sneakers and ankle socks with rainbow stripes spin round and round with arms stretched wide – heads thrown back beneath the summer sky. Older children, throwing caution to the wind, jump pirouettes through water droplets flung from sprinklers in the summer sun.
But then, somewhere along the way, a bold untruth gets dropped into our heads. All too often we take that lie and wrap it up and hold it in our hearts and we believe the whispers. We let it twist itself around our hands and feet like shackles and we say that we are bound and we can’t dance.
But we forget that we hold tiny ones whose breath still smells like sugar and we rock them back and forth while crickets chirp a rhythmic beat outside the nursery window. We forget the way our shoulders rise and fall in steady cadence as we chop the onion for the salad, or the movement of our hips as we pull weeds out of the garden.
We forget that when we wash the dishes in the sink our head tips to one side as we turn a plate or bowl or glass in circles beneath the flow of water that cascades down the drain. We don’t think about the way we zoom the lens and snap the photo and lower the camera to gaze at the display. Somehow we don’t think about the tap tap tapping of computer keys beneath our fingertips when the day is coming to a close and the house has fallen silent, except for birds out in the treetops.
We stand in a circle and we laugh and share our stories, and I want to reach out to the woman who thinks that she can’t dance. I want to tell her when she shifts her purse from one shoulder to the other, she lights up the space around her. I want to tell her I don’t think God cares if she can keep a beat or not. I want to say her life is one big dance and when she moves her body through the world, He’s watching and it makes Him smile and not a single step is lost on Him.
“Let them praise His name in the dance…” Psalm 149:3, The Message