Who heeds the poor organ grinder? None but myself and little Annie, whose feet begin to move in unison with the lively tune, as if she were loth that music should be wasted without a dance. But where would Annie find a partner? Some have the gout in their toes, or the rheumatism in their joints; some are stiff with age; some feeble with disease; some are so lean that their bones would rattle, and others of such ponderous size that their agility would crack the flag-stones; but many, many have leaden feet, because their hearts are far heavier than lead. It is a sad thought that I have chanced upon.
—Nathaniel Hawthorne, Little Annie’s Ramble
In the past year or so Jesus has been teaching me to dance. He has been asking me to live more lightly and freely. To find joy and delight in Him as I experience His presence in the small, every-day things. To give Him the burdens and troubles that weigh me down.
And for the most part, I am catching on. I am by nature an optimistic, positive person, so some of it comes easily. Releasing control and refusing to worry have been harder steps to master, but I’m getting better with practice. It has been a beautiful thing, learning the freedom of dancing in the moment with my Lord and Lover.
But a few nights ago, various things had piled up in my mind and my soul. I went to bed with heavy sighs and a few tears. I woke up in the morning, hoping the dawn would dispel the clouds that had hovered over me the night before. But they were still there, gray and dismal.
I heard a familiar Voice whisper in my ear, “Come, dance with Me.”
I sighed. “I can’t today. My heart is so heavy. There is no bounce in my step. I can’t bring myself to trip along merrily with You today.”
He looked at me with understanding. “That’s OK,” He said. “Just put your head here.” He patted His chest, right about where the heart is.
Gladly I buried my face into the warmth of His shoulder and felt His arms encircle me. I returned the embrace and rested against Him. He rocked me gently back and forth, and before I knew it we were moving. It was slow and rather sad, but it was unmistakably a dance.
And so I begin to see that His love is the music to which everything on earth moves. His melodies permeate every moment, and are suitable to every occasion. To dance with Him doesn’t merely mean to gambol giddily, always happy and carefree. It means, instead, to cling to His love in every situation, mindful of the beauty of His song, whether merry or melancholy. To heed and respond—loth that music should be wasted without a dance.