Friday night at Revolution143 (the youth group I work with) we decided to have praise and worship for three hours. No sermon. Just music, dance and shouts of joy. As I sat in the back of the dark sanctuary and watched our kids krump and dance in true freedom I was almost moved to tears. The way they worship seems to explode from within them, pouring out from the well in their souls. It's beautiful.
Saturday I had the priveledge of catching up with some old friends at a dance studio and sat in on thier practice. Four of my friends are steppers and two of them tap. I watched them practice for a while then began wandering around the studio watching other groups and teams practice everything from modern and contemporary to ballet and tap. After that I went to church and watched the last hour of Revolution143's dance team as they rehearsed a routine for Sunday morning. Their good. Their not like most churchy/liturgical dancers... their actually good. And it's beautiful.
There's something about dance that moves me, that stirs something within me and intrigues me... and so this post is dedicated to dance and all those who stir my soul and make me want to shake what my mother gave me.
Why do we even do this thing called dance?
Why do we feel the need to express ourselves physically?
Are words not enough to communiticate what we feel?
Because there is something about the human spirit that cannot merely express with words the transendance and glory of God. There's something about the granduer and glory of God that moves us... literally. Christian and non-Christians alike are trying to express that there something "bigger than themselves".
For some reason all throughout the Old Testament people are dancing. David even dances to the point of indescretion? God instructs His people to worship Him in song and dance. There's an underlying assumption that it is impossible to express ourselves with mere words and logic... it's almost as if God is saying, "I'm the God that moves you."
So often in Western culture we seek to cognitively understand this mysterious and great God instead of just being moved by Him. My host mom in Uganda was far from a theologian, I'll never forget going to church with her and seeing her dance and be moved by God's presence.
Where words can no longer express what the Spirit feels... we dance.
With hearts filled with gratitude towards a God who loves us and knows us... we dance.
With clumy movements or with intricate detail and control... we dance.
There's a rythm to the universe that God has created. A rythm to life. Have you ever seen someone dance off beat? Have you ever heard a bad drummer? Or heard someone rap that doesn't know how to flow to a beat? Have you ever seen a white gospel choir try to sway back and forth while clapping and singing? Have you ever seen or heard someone that simply lacks rythm? It's irritating to watch. It's distracting. It's hilarious. It's almost painful sometimes.
So it is with people that live outside the rythm that God has established for relationships, and family, and career, and every other aspect of life. Our lives were built to fit inside a certain rythm. Our hearts were meant to beat to a certain drum. A life that is outside of God's rythm is like watching someone clap and dance of beat. A life of worship is a life lived in rythm with God in obediance and submission to His Way, The Way. Once our inner lives are in rythm with His life (John 15:5), our public expressions of worship and dance and praise will follow suit. And it will be beautiful.
An inability of words to fully describe something is felt in this very post. I can try to explain the goosebumps I felt the first time I saw our guys Krump to "Hosanna", but you would still have to see it. I can try to explain Benito's heart as sweat poured down his face on Sunday as He danced his heart out before God, but you would still have to see it.
I leave you with this video. Rami this post was especially for you. The way that you work with our kids is beautiful. You should have your own studio. I love you. You move me.
Inlet Dance Theatre from John Carl on Vimeo.