“Song and dance are the result of an excess energy. When we are normal we talk, when we are dying we whisper, but when there is more in us than we contain we sing. When we are healthy we walk, when we are decrepit we shuffle, but when we are beyond ourselves with vitality we dance.” -Eugene Peterson Where Your Treasure Is

Last night I took my daughter to dance class which she has been taking for the past five years now. I spend that forty-five minutes of the class waiting for her with several mothers of the neighborhood and talk about motherly thing. Though I am a square peg among many round ones, I readily admit I enjoy the ladies’ company. It is often funny and thoughtful. I have tried to rationalize the usefulness of the class in her life, such as it is good exercise or it gives her confidence, but underneath such thoughts is that it is a waste of time. This is my socially formed masculinity speaking. I think to myself, “She could get more out of going to the gym and doing basketball drills with me.” But something inside of me hopes that the class is giving something very special to Joelle. That it returns some of her freedom back to her.

I introduced Resisting Grace telling of the story of my daughter dancing in the aisle of church when she was three and how the years had erased such energy to create freely and spontaneously. It is the gospel that returns that energy to us through healing the wounds, restoring the hope and imparting joy. The wounds need to be healed, like the cracks need to be repaired. Then what is put in can be contained instead of lost. The hope needs to be found again so that we’d come back. We would return to the dance floor. And joy must be given, never manufactured, given. Then, truly and only then, the dance of life moves.

With enough of that kind of energy derived, there is more than enough for it to overflow. That is grace extended. It fills me to overflowing and those within reach of me can receive.

Help us Lord to stop resisting and cooperate with grace. Then to dance.