I’ve come under fire of late. Yes, I’m experiencing my own Duck Dynasty moment. Friends of mine, deeply spiritual friends, who define themselves as wounded Christians, have been very critical of my speaking openly about attending mass. To them it is a slap in the face since they have a negative view of Christianity. Not to be outdone, friends who identify as Christians have been very critical of my chanting and practicing kirtan. I’ve been told it’s idol worship. To both groups I roll my eyes.
My devotions and practices are mine. While we are all created in God’s image, God is also created in our image. I believe I have forged a distinctively personal path of spirituality that places the uniqueness of the individual, in this case me, at the center of his or her own spiritual universe with God — a spiritual partnership so to speak. Feisty and invigorating, yet deeply personal and self-revealing — this is my approach to my inner life and my relationship with God.
This is my dance with God.
The scriptures are filled with stories of dancing. These dances are not planned, scripted ballets but improvised songs of freedom, hope and joy. They aren’t performed by trained and seasoned professionals but are initiated in the joyful celebrations of people to their God.
These raves of God are edgy and innovative – raw and spirit filled. They are the dances of the people, the seeds of raw potential, born not out of the exactness of ritual but in the spontaneity of the Spirit – filled with the rhythm of life. The dance of God is the dance of the cosmos, the interrelationship of Creator, created (you and me), and life itself, the holy creativity of the All in All.
The dancing metaphor of all life is envisioned and embodied as a circle dance. The dance of the divine is moving, active, eternally both transcendent and immanent, and flowing together in a joyful and harmonious, rhythmic and resonant celebration of life. The great Artist of eternal life dances with the child and the Divine Mother. Each dwells in the other, outside of and within the created world.
The Christ, the Lord of the Dance, is the physical embodiment of the sacred dance of life, the incarnated vision and rhythm of the artistry of God. Whereas the Trinity is the music and the composer, the Christ is the one who calls to us to “come and dance” and promises that we need never lose the rhythm of the dance.
The Lord of the Dance takes the lead. Our role is that of the dancing partner who has the courage to get up from the safety of sitting and spread our wings into the unknown. In joining the dance, we break free of some kind of social sheath and give others the courage to follow their passion.
As we join the Lord of the Dance the Spirit becomes a whirling life force, becoming aligned with and at one with God and ourselves. The implication of this dance is that all persons dance a dance of mutual love, breathe together the breath of life, and pour out to one another in mutual giving.
“Believe only in a God who would know how to dance.”
We are all of us invited to the dance, though not all join. But look what happens when we do. We fall into sync with the rhythm of life. The rhythms of the Universe echo within the music of the spheres until all are singing and dancing together in a beautiful and diverse harmony.
The time is now, and the dance is eternal. Don’t sit this dance out. Life is moves quickly. Buds burst in fragrant spring; fruits delight in fertile summer. Leaves change colors in autumn. Trees fall in whitened winter. Dance while you can. The world doesn’t need more conversations so much as it needs more dancing. When “heart speaks unto heart,” what comes next is less a conversation than a waltz or a tango, with all its unexpected twists, turns and dips.
The soul’s dance occurs both in the earthly here and now and in the heavenly beyond. The celebration of rebirth, beauty and hope surrounds and permeates our life. Harmony prevails in every step we take with God and with each other. We are lead in a new dance of human connection under divine direction.
The dance of God is a dance of love that moves and flows through the ins and outs, ups and downs of all of life’s joys and travails. The circle of our dancing is a powerful movement of shared compassion).
Too often in our spiritual life, we want to give dance lessons, to be the judges of dance competitions. I won’t be judged in my dance with God. The Lord of the Dance can never be directed or contained. To join the dance of spirit, we need to break out of our square lines and ballroom boxes and let the spirit draw us in. The dance is a dance of unity of sound and sight, a unity of those who believe, and a unity of God and his creation.
And now, as Lawrence Welk used to say, “A-one, an-a–two.”