When I was much younger and attending a church in California, a young woman “Sue” approached the pastor stating that we needed more dance in the church. “It’s in the Bible, dancing before the Lord,” she exclaimed. And she was right. At least I thought so at the time. So I joined her group. All three of us (ha!) were invited to stand at the back of the pews during worship and dance to our heart’s content-as long as we were not distracting the other worshipers.
I never got the feeling that the pastor thought much of the idea but I wanted to be included nonetheless. Even if it meant an excuse to not be trapped in my seat. Yup, confinement was always an issue for me at church. And Life Savors were far from sufficient to keep me still. I loved church, especially worship time but I wanted to be free. I wanted to dance in the aisles if the Spirit moved me or sit or cry or… Worship is so personal and yet when done as a group, it can be so overwhelmingly powerful.
I’m quite aware that the Bible stresses order at church gatherings so over the years I’ve learned that while it’s appealing and even sincere to want to let loose, maybe it’s something to save for another time. I’m grateful that in my music ministry I can follow whatever my heart (and hopefully Spirit) dictates. I love to dance, to move. I could go on forever about what a thrill it is to create music and then dance to it in God’s honor! Talk about worship!
I’m convinced that my “free spirit” is only that when submitted to the Holy Spirit and that the only way I accomplish true worship is when I completely lose sight of self-consciousness and ego. So performing for the Lord just won’t do. I have to find a level of freedom, of liberty throughout my life that worship becomes a natural act-unplanned, uncluttered, unchained.
And then the dancing begins.
Free-form movement should be just that: free-from-form, organic, true. I’m grateful that my not-as-young-as-I-wish-it-was body can still rock. And I feel music in every part of my being. It almost hurts not to move when I’m singing to or about the Lord. I love expressing myself with my hands, gestures, stance, glances.
And sometimes I just want to shake my butt. It’s so funny, that sounds so sexual, so dirty, yet it’s part of our center, our posture, our strength. No I don’t think that the “churchies” will like this done near or around their faces (or their children) but I’m just saying that when the Bible says “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord, “ I see that to also represent our very pores. Every last one of them, while they still live and breathe, they need to love on Jesus with such an intensity and passion that movement is not only acceptable but a safety measure to avoid spontaneous combustion.