The Dance

By Carol Keller


When I was a pre-schooler, I was quite the dancer.  I liked tap mostly, but could get carried away with ballet.  My mother called me her “ballerina” all my life.  She gave me a ballerina Christmas ornament that hangs on my tree every year.  My only early dance lessons were from my best friend in first grade.  She took lessons and then at recess she would teach me what she learned. In junior high I would rush home after school in time to catch American Bandstand and dance the afternoon away in my living room. Oh, yes, I could do the Stroll, the Swim, the Twist, the Pony…everything I saw on 


Then I married The Boy Who Did Not Dance.  UNTIL my 40th birthday.  He agreed to take country dance lessons with three other couples.  I was in heaven.  At last I had a dance partner.  It was painful at first.  Painful for The Boy Who Did Not Dance as he struggled with rhythm.  Painful for The Ballerina as she had to learn to follow.  But we kept on going to our classes and going out with our friends on weekends to “practice.”  We got to the point we could do a pretty good Cowboy Cha-Cha.

Today is the fourth Sunday of Lent and known as “Laetare Sunday.”  Laetare is the Latin word meaning “to be happy.”  This day falls midway through Lent and is a day of 

celebration for the “intertwining of death and life, sorrow and rejoicing.”  Laetare Sunday makes its rosy appearance in the middle of Lent to remind us of the happy ending to our story and to the Christ story!

What better way to celebrate than dancing?  I love it that dancing is used as a religious or spiritual metaphor.  Church fathers even described the Trinity as a Great Round Dance, in which love and power are constantly flowing from One to Another. I think dance is a wonderful metaphor to describe my relationship with my Father and how I grow to be like Jesus.  It is clumsy at first.  Lots of stepping on toes.  He tries to lead.  I want to lead. I get a few steps ahead or miss a beat. He wants to waltz and I want to tango.  But He and I keep practicing and practicing.  And the dance gets smoother…and flowing…and even beautiful.

You can’t dance with God if you’re even one step ahead of Him or one step behind Him.  You’ll be stepping all over His feet— very messy!  But, when you stay in the moment and let God lead, then you flow across the dance floor and the result is a thing of great beauty.  —Ann Maloney 

May He have this dance?


Resource:  Small Surrenders, Emilie Griffin