I have been wanting to post this for a long time. This is an essay that I wrote for a college writing class over three years ago. This essay sort of tells the story of my heart... It is a very personal piece of my spiritual life. (It is also the story behind my tattoo.)
When I hear the word dance, I think of my life. I once read a quote that said, “If we are indifferent to the art of dancing, we have failed to understand, not merely the supreme manifestation of physical life, but also the supreme symbol of spiritual life.”
If I close my eyes and allow myself to dream I can see myself in a long, flowing, white gown. My hair is piled high on my head, cascading down in ringlets. I feel someone approaching and I turn to look into the most captivating eyes I have ever seen. He smiles the most beautiful smile, stretches his hand out to me and asks me to dance.
I am a little nervous as this is not a dance I have ever danced before, but he promises to teach me as we go and I nod slightly and allow him to take my hand and lead me onto the floor. The lights dim and the music begins to play. I am about to be led in the dance of my life. I can feel his strong hand on my back, leading the way. He is swaying with me, spinning and dipping me, swirling me around the room in the most exhilarating way. As I spin, the room blurs and all I can see is his beautiful face in front of me, smiling as he looks into my eyes.
I love this dance but it is not always an easy one. There are steps that I don’t know, times when I accidentally step on his toes. He always smiles, never taking his arm from my back, and continues to lead me as though there were never a pause.
People are watching us dance. They are watching me spin, watching me with curiosity, with admiration… sometimes with sympathy when I don’t know the steps. A few offer me advice but ultimately it is just my partner and I. They are the spectators. They are my cheerleaders. When the dance is over they will applaud and congratulate me, telling me I have danced well.
But the dance is never really over. Sometimes the music will change, perhaps becoming faster, or maybe quieter. The steps may change as well. I may know this new dance better, or it may be completely different to me. We dance until I learn.
All around me I can see other people dancing with their perfect partner. Most are dancing to different music than I, their steps not the same as mine. Some are swirling faster and faster while I am at a still point in my dance. It is a diverse group, no two people the same. But we were all created for this place, this dance, each with a partner who has chosen us without hesitation.
There are times when I tire of the dance. My feet feel like they cannot dance another step, my arms grow weak. But my partner reminds me that I have promised to finish this dance with him, and I am reminded that I could not have imagined a more perfect partner. He does not tire. He is always there, his strong arms supporting me, his piercing eyes looking deep into mine, understanding all that he sees.
This dance. It is my life. And I am dancing with Jesus, my perfect partner. He is like a great emperor who has asked me to be his beloved dance partner, and I have accepted. He has taken my hand and led me in the most amazing adventure. At times I tire. At times I am unsure of the steps. Still other times I do not like the music that I hear. But he will never give up. He will always be there, ready to continue dancing with me for all eternity.