By Sam Whatley
My daughter, Summer, was three years old when she asked to take ballet lessons. We thought she was a little young, but many of the girls in her class were taking ballet, so we gave in. She also showed an interest in art and music and soon there were lessons in many things; but at first, it was just ballet.
As months went by, our family would spend Sunday afternoons at the park, the zoo, or the museum. One such afternoon at the museum, Summer and I stood spell-bound before a large multi-media painting. It depicted a field of flowers waving in an imaginary breeze against a puffy, gray sky. The work seemed almost alive with energy. Thinking this might inspire her to explore art, I asked, “Summer, if you look very carefully at this picture do you think you could draw it when we get home?”
To my surprise she answered, “No, but I could dance to it.” And so she did, with a flurry of pirouettes and improvised movements that helped me feel what the flowers felt in the wind before the storm. I was stunned. Rather than copy the shapes on the fabric, she was imitating the very spirit of the painting.
Years have passed. The Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts has been moved across town, and the bouncing little girl with golden ringlets is now a statuesque piano teacher. Some years later, she and I stood again before this same painting. We smiled, remembering that time long ago, and I could see the flash of that dance in her eyes.
We all have a dance within us. God has made sure of that. He has given each of us a unique way to express our love for Him. Let me give a few examples.
One lady I know made delicious cakes. Her cakes were so good that they were auctioned at the annual church supper. One of them sold for $75.00! What a gift!
A friend of mine, a digital camera buff, goes to church events during the week. He takes photos, prints them out on his computer, and has a professional-looking collage set up on the church coffee table by Sunday morning. Voila, instant church history.
Then there are those who invite others into their favorite hobby. One man took small groups sailing on the Gulf for a few days. It gave non-mariners a chance to get away from their normal stress and spend some time studying the Word.
Another takes a similar group spelunking into Alabama caves. He loves to have team members cut off their flashlights and try to imagine how they would get to the surface without light, illustrating vividly our dependence on God’s guidance.
Whatever your God-given gift, you have a special dance. It may not be what others expect, but in your heart you know what it is. As we give these gifts back to the Lord, we find our joy. Let’s dance.