Friday, October 5, 2012

Is it weird to dance before the Lord? (plus link-up)

OK, so let me start with the link-up first. The link up is called "I am proud of my size."  The context of the photo is explained a lot further below.



I am a size 18 and here I am wearing a thrifted shirt, a skirt from Dress Barn and Chicago flip flops. More pictures below -- as well as the link to the link-up so you can see more folks who are proud of their size.




As I go through "The Artist's Rule" by Christine Valters Paintner, she gives a set of exercises at the end of each chapter to go deeper into the content presented.

Sometimes it goes beyond my comfort zone. When I first read about the movement exercise she wanted to do, I have to admit, I judged. My experience of liturgical dance is that it's amateurs moving and flailing their arms and ribbons about and failing to get their message across (aka the point of liturgical dance).

But don't I bop and groove in the choir loft on Sundays when we sing the Gloria and other up-beat tunes? 

So okay. I can try this in the privacy of my own home. 

And I only had to move one arm to music for about four minutes.


(this is a later representation, not the actual movement exercise)
Which I did, with my eyes closed.

I don't know if it has to do with my resuming Tai Chi this summer, recently taking up chair yoga, or the occasional Bollywood workout video, but it felt beautiful. Graceful. Grace-filled.

Some movements repeated, echoing the lyrics and became a kind of physical mantra ...

And while for a minute there, I flashed back to high school where a couple of friends and I danced energetically and ridiculously to "Flashdance (What a Feeling)". None of us were dance-trained -- I'm not counting my 3 months of jazz ballet when I was about 10 -- but it didn't matter. We had a blast and we were content within our bodies.

That contentment, that surging joy of dancing came back as I did this movement exercise ...



I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to set up the camera (without a tripod) to take a picture of my arm movements so the photos are a reflection of how I felt, sitting up straight on the sofa and moving my arms to John Tirro's "Use Me Up".

Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets. 
As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before theLord, she despised him in her heart. (2 Samuel 6:14-16, NIV)


I have changed from Michal's attitude (which probably had nothing to do with David's gyrations and everything to do with her father being defeated) to having David's attitude.

Our judgements, our prejudices and our fears can sometimes stop us from trying new things. We need to remember to open our hearts and minds, and to lean in, just a little bit.

Meantime, I'll occasionally be dancing for the Lord in the privacy of my own home and every Sunday, of course, grooving in the choir loft.




Linking up with:



and Ann Voskamp's "Walk with Him Wednesdays".

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