May I Have This Dance?

Rakdaney Simcha (Dancers of Joy) Phoenix 2000

Rakdaney Simcha (Dancers of Joy) Phoenix 2000

 The above photo is of a dance troupe that I had the blessing of forming and leading. I’m the third right to left, and my sister, Mynita, is second left to right. The others are good friends, sisters in the Lord.

DANCING…I grew up dancing. You see, when my parents were dating in the late 1920s, they spent their free time on the dance floor. My dad taught my mother to square dance and my mother taught my father to ballroom dance: the waltz and foxtrot.  Dad even called for square dances when I was a girl: “Chicken in the bread pan pickin’ out dough,” he’d chant. The dancers formed their circle in the middle of the street on a Saturday night in Indianola, Iowa or another small town. One rule my parents were firm about was that of partners. They only danced with each other…all of their lives.

When my sister and I became teenagers, we looked forward to going to the Val Air Ballroom in Des Moines on Thursday nights. Rock ‘n’ Roll was so much fun. I never danced with a guy, as I recall. Guess I was too young and too skinny for any boy at the time.

Over the years, my late husband, Roland, and I danced some, but it really wasn’t his forte’. He could glide me around the floor at someone’s wedding, though, showing off his rhythm and  light-footedness.

When we joined a particular church in the late ’60s, I found out that dancing was a “sin.” So, I gave it up…until 1999, my first trip to Israel. Once again, I found the joy of dance. This time, I discovered the hora and other Davidic dances. Such joy poured over my soul…to dance for the Lord. And it wasn’t wrong at all!

My dance troupe studied the biblical implications and found 27 verses with reference to dance. When the prodigal son returned home, he was welcomed with music and dancing. Miriam (Aaron and Moses’ sister) led other women in worship dance. King David danced before the Lord. The tribe of Benjamin took their wives from women who danced in Shiloh.

More importantly, GOD DANCES WITH JOY OVER US! Read Zeph. 3:17. The Hebrew word “gil” means “to spin around in joy.”

Happily now, I’m reminded of a time, before I visited Ireland, when my son, Kendahl, gave me a song for my mp3 player. He told me not to listen to it until I was flying over the sea. He’s such a joker, I thought he had some title that suggested I was drowning. Silly me. Ken had downloaded, “I Hope You Dance.” On the ground, when the Irish locals lined up for some clogging, I couldn’t stay seated. My son had inspired me.

So, when I’m physically unable to dance any more, I’ll tell myself what I used to tell ladies and gents in an elder care facility where my group performed, “You can dance with all your heart.”

Just give me a little soul music…and a one, and two….

“May I have this dance?” My Lord said to me. In His desire to be my partner, it doesn’t matter that once I was a wallflower at the Val Air. I can’t wait to dance on streets of gold in heaven. That’ll be far better than any Thursday night in Des Moines.

PS–In my WWII novel, Foxtrots and Foxholes, an old German woman, a babushka, says to a pair of peacocks, “Danz! Don’t fight. Dance.”

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10 Responses to May I Have This Dance?

  1. AudraKrell says:

    This makes me long for such a simpler time. Love the line from your novel! And so inspiring, may all of us always dance before the Lord with all our hearts.

    • Audra, I received your prayer request via Lenna. I’m praying. Yes, I was really blessed to have lived in my generation. Someday we’ll look back on today and think, those were the days. Keep writing and singing for Him. Thanks for following my blog.

  2. Mynita says:

    You are a gifted writer. Don’t stop writing or dancing.

  3. Floyd says:

    What an awesome testimony of what dancing really means. If God ordained it, who are we to let the lost world steal it? How I love true stories about God’s children and the wisdom they bestow upon us.

    “God dances with joy over us.” As many times as I’ve read it, it never even dawned on me the impact of that verse. Thanks my friend for your wisdom, heart, and God given personality. It reads like rythme from the heart of God. I feel like dancing!

    • It does seem as though the world takes something good and makes it totally different…depraved, like worldly dancing…dirty dancing. God always gives us the beautiful. Floyd, you have written such a beautiful line about “the heart of God.” In your blog, I’ve noticed your poetic language, and it touches my heart. Thanks!

  4. John Turner says:

    This was absolutely beautiful. It’s ironic (no such thing with God!) that you mentioned “clogging.” I just used that word in my blog post. Blogging is a lot like dancing. It takes a partner. The writer and the reader. I am blessed today being the reader.

    • John, Thanks for reading my post. You’re such a pro by now, and I’m still a novice, but I love doing it. Isn’t it strange how we both came up with “clogging” in the same week. Well, as long as it wasn’t referring to arteries, I guess that’s a good thing. Another friend mentioned the partnership of marriage as a “dance.” I’m thankful for all kinds of partners, including my readers, like you. Blessings, friend.

  5. There is something in dance that unites, resets the course of feelings and restores feelings of being connected. Marriage is called a “dance” as is parenting. When we are dancing, we are moving, together with a beat and goal in common. I believe God is a skillful and trustworthy partner and leader in our dance through life, though sometimes I forget and try to lead. Not good!

    Thank you for the blog post, I needed reminding of this today. You are so often on track and on time with so many of your insights. Hopefully, your dance will continue to include writing and sharing your words with the public.

    • Deb, I love the idea of considering “feelings” with the dance of relationships. You wrote so beautifully. I’m remembering the feeling of being held close by my love, my dear husband. I sometimes thought our hearts beat together in perfect rhythm; I could feel his heart beating from his chest to mine. Such a protected, united, and whole feeling. Thanks for reminding me that God leads “in our dance through life.” He’s the One who gave us the gift of feelings.

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