“There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good.”
Psalm 31:8 You have not handed me over to the enemy. You have set my feet in a place where I can move freely.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 Fig trees may no longer bloom, or vineyards produce grapes; olive trees may be fruitless, and harvest time a failure; sheep pens may be empty, and cattle stalls vacant– but I will still celebrate because the LORD God saves me. The LORD gives me strength. He makes my feet as sure as those of a deer, and he helps me stand on the mountains.
Last night, I longed again to be Ballerina Barbie.
If you know me at all, you know I love to dance in a “randomly move to the rhythm of the music” way. I do it often and without warning. But, in my mind there lives a person dressed in sparkling tulle and chiffon. She is dainty and delicate, and seems to float effortlessly through the air– like a Barbie doll but with a more realistic body type. She can twirl and spin and leap like a ballerina. Oh, she is my own tiara-wearing superhero – her grace transforming the most dark moment into a composition of beauty. From the time I was a little girl, all arms and legs and big feet, she has been with me. And if I close my eyes and feel the smooth cool floor beneath me, we are one.
Then I open my eyes – and I’m all arms and legs and big feet again.
I was all arms and legs and big feet on the special day I was a cat and a baby chicken. I hesitate to use the word “chick,” because, while I am a chick in the “she’s a pretty casual gal” sense, I don’t really consider myself cool enough to wear the badge all the time. And on that very special day, my yellow shiny sequin-adorned leotard with fluffy feathers shooting everywhere definitely classified this chick a baby chicken.
Now, the cats shuffle-ball-changed around the stage in a circle as I suppose cats would do if forced to wear patent-leather tap shoes. We held our hands up like little paws, and were careful not to smear the whiskers painted on our face with eyeliner. I tried to imagine myself a real cat, but since our family was a “dogs-only” clan, I had little inspiration for the moment. So I attempted a Cheshire Cat grin – the kind my mom said I used when I was guilty about something – and tried not to think about things like needing to use the restroom because I was scared.
Something magical happened, however, when the black ears and tap shoes were traded for yellow feathers and soft pink ballet slippers. For two short minutes, I was Ballerina Barbie. I batted my eyes and traded the grin for my best “pretty” look as I followed the rest of the baby chickens in pirouettes and plies. I felt the freedom and beauty rise. The stage was my playground – large and beautiful and crying out for my dance to grace it.
Last night, I wanted to be a baby chicken again. Yes, I longed to be Ballerina Barbie. The desire happened in the most unusual of places – while sitting with friends, discussing important things like church and food and art and work and movies and finances and earthquakes and Twitter and writer’s block and politics and song lyrics. I listened and chatted, all the while hungry to become one again with the smooth cool floor in some very different place – a place where I wasn’t hindered by arms and legs and big feet that fumble for balance and stumble so easily over the “here and now”. I pictured myself swept up in the songs of the Almighty, moving at the very whisper of His will to a dance carefully choreographed with the poor and the needy. There were no feathers or tulle, no shuffle-ball-changes or fear – just the stage and the transformation and the grace.
This morning, I’m still there, in that hungry place, longing to dance a dance of salvation and healing with those who are hurting. And this morning, I still feel all arms and legs and big feet. Oh, how thankful I am for the words of Habakkuk in moments like this: no matter what is happening around me, I can rejoice and dance for there is hope. I need only to step on that stage.
Let freedom and beauty rise in this baby chicken. Now and always.