Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Dance

by Sarah Van Diest

“I cry aloud with my voice to the Lord; I make supplication with my voice to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path.” Psalm 142:1-3a

“Let them praise his name with dancing” Psalm 149:3a

Greetings, friend.

I hope you are doing well; that your heart is secure in the love of our Father each step today; that rest comes easily and food is satisfying. The simple things of life seem to be the basis from which all other joys emerge, so I hope those simple things are in place for you today.

But I counter my own conclusion with the understanding that life’s trials bring a deeper joy than simple pleasures are capable of producing. The body may be failing and yet its associated pains are not sufficient to drown out the joy of knowing that the Father sits with us when we are unable to walk.
I am complaining today. I am tired and my hand hurts from the cancer removed yesterday; the stitches pull and my skin is tight. New medication to slow my heart beat makes me feel fatigued and weary, and a night of little sleep from the anesthesia fading from my hand heaps on that. I am complaining.

So I take my complaints and lay them out there, lifeless as they are, and look at them. They aren’t so bad. They don’t really do anything. They just lie there. Like all the other feelings I’ve put out there to observe, they just sit there. I know them but they aren’t me. And that is a more important distinction to make than any I can think of right now. I know them, but they are not me.  

I am not defined by them, but rather they are something that is part of my experience; as if they were a place I visit along the way but leave behind as I keep walking. They add to my compassion when I see others pained in similar ways. They remind me of my frailty and put to rest (again) my faulty beliefs of my invulnerability and self-sufficiency. They speak to me of my bond with this earth, and all life and death that circles and cycles through here. These are good and needed messages for my soul, if I choose to take them as such.

My complaining reminds me of what expectations reside in me; expectations of health and satisfaction, as if those are what this life is about and those are goals for which I strive. Really? At the end of my life am I going to hope that above all things I lived a life of health and satisfaction? How tragic that would be!

May that not be my epitaph.

Rather faith, hope, and most highly, love. Those words. Those truths. Those sentiments and aspirations. To live a life defined in such terms would be a glorious thing! To walk in this life of pains and afflictions with faith, hope and love is a beautiful, graceful way to step along the road. The walk then becomes a dance. The burdens stemming from being bound to this world become teachers of new dance steps as the Father plays the music: the pebble on the path – a skip; the chilling wind – a twirl; and the heavy weight – a bow. A dance.

I am still tired and my hand still aches, but my heart is lighter now. I am thankful for my teachers and even more thankful for the music my Father plays in my heart. Those feelings that I know but aren’t me are still there just as they were, but faith, hope and love enliven the movements of my soul. This is simple. This is practicing the presence of the Father. This is remembering and seeing life in the midst of the gradual and daily dying. This is the dance.


Grace and Peace,
Sarah


Sarah has worked in Christian publishing since 2005 as both and editor and an agent. 

Currently, she works with her husband, David, in their agency, the Van Diest Literary Agency. Writing is a growing passion for her as she hopes to bring hope to hurting hearts.

13 comments:

  1. Complain all you want to, Sarah. Our Lord Jesus doesn’t mind one little bit. Just keep on practicing His Presence and keep on dancing.

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    1. Thank you, Marjorie! Such good words!
      Blessings!
      Sarah

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  2. As always, this is an on time word. I must remember they are not me as I sit, hurting from ulcers and my son's impending divorce, as the feelings are trying to drown me. I need a glimpse of the big picture. Today. I love the dance analogy. I pray your hand heals quickly.

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    1. Sweet Jennifer, I am so sorry for your pains. I pray for our Father's comfort to envelop you today. Dance with Him. He loves you dearly.
      Blessings,
      Sarah

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  3. In church today, one of our hymns was "The Lord of the Dance." Coincidence? Not!

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    1. Oh Carole! I love that song and it's been much too long since I've heard it. Thank you for bringing it back to my memory!
      Blessings!
      Sarah

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  4. Beautiful post, Sarah. Thank you for sharing the wisdom God has given you in your time of trial. I love the understanding of life as a dance and was able to weave that into one of my books, hoping that others could benefit as I had from seeing their difficulties as part of a beautiful dance with the Creator and Sustainer of all things. Thanks for sharing that message today! I pray that you experience physical healing soon.

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    1. Thank you, Jerusha. And I'm so glad you used the dance metaphor. How lovely it would be if we all learned how to dance!
      Blessings!
      Sarah

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  5. Boy this goes right along with my Bible reading and my journaling this morning. I am actually getting ready to blog on somewhat the same topic; mine is more the anger I deal with but thanks for the confirmation and the encouragement.

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    1. That's so great! I love how our Father does that! Thank you for sharing with me and please be encouraged to share your heart in your writing.
      Blessings,
      Sarah

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  6. Thank you, Sarah. I really enjoyed reading this. Blessings to you today and always, Dianna

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    1. Thank you, Dianna! I appreciate your words.
      Blessings to you as well!
      Sarah

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