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Sunday, July 03, 2011

Some Christians Have a Problem

My daughters wanted to join a local dance troupe when they were young. Over the years we watched their performances and there were times when we doubted our judgment. It was not all good, it was not all redemptive, but we came to see that their time there was marked with God’s purpose.

In her senior year with the company, Laura, our middle daughter, was asked to dance a lyrical solo in the troupe's year-end performance. She agreed under the condition that she could choose the music and her costume and do the choreography herself. Over the next weeks the music seeped through the walls as she practiced in her bedroom.

When the night of the final recital arrived, Laura’s excitement was intense. The auditorium was packed; the first two rows were taken up by teens from Laura’s high school. I thought that was why she had seemed so nervous. When she stepped onto the stage to take her place, I sat up to get a good view.

She was dressed in a flowing green velvet dress, her hair smoothed back in ballerina style. She stood poised, waiting for the music. Then the words began to flow and Laura began to move. She danced the words of a song by Sara Groves – “I’m just a seeker too, in search of God.... I have no other way to communicate to you that this is all I have; the only thing that isn’t meaningless to me is Jesus Christ and the way he set me free.” As the last verse rang in the auditorium, my heart pounded as my daughter’s boldness amazed me and the audience stood to their feet in applause.

As we left the theatre that night, a local pastor tapped me on the shoulder and said, “That was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.” Then he grinned. “So when is she going to perform it at your church?” We laughed together at my reply, “Oh, I wish.” Then, simultaneously, we said to one another, “Maybe, someday!”

Some Christians have a problem with other Christians being involved in dance, art, writing novels, playing certain kinds of music. They see these endeavours as being part of the world from which we are to keep ourselves separate. But it was through dance that Laura formed an expression of herself that will, for many years to come, reinforce her understanding of her identity in Christ. In some ways, that final recital was like a baptism, a dying to what is not good, an embracing of all that is redemptive. It was, as a baptism is meant to be, a public display of who she truly is, one set free by Jesus Christ.

Some Christians have a problem with Christians writing novels. But it is through the writing, the telling of "story," that we come to understand who we all are in Christ; it is through the writing that we communicate how we all must die to what is not good in ourselves and embrace what is redemptive, that core that is the essence of our being, the very image of God.

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Colossians 3:17


Marcia Lee Laycock writes from central Alberta Canada where she is a pastor's wife and mother of three adult daughters. She was the winner of The Best New Canadian Christian Author Award for her novel, One Smooth Stone and also has two devotional books in print. Her work has been endorsed by Sigmund Brouwer, Janette Oke, Phil Callaway and Mark Buchanan. The sequel to One Smooth Stone will be released in 2011. A collection of devotionals for writers has just been released here. Visit Marcia's website

11 comments:

Cathy Gohlke said...

Thank you for this inspiring post, Marcia. I agree that writing, like so many gifts the Lord gives us, creates our unique path to seeking and knowing Him better. It's a lifting of our arms in praise as we open our hearts to write, or dance, or whatever part we play in God's great symphony. Learning a little more each day how to keep time with our Conductor--what blessed lives we have! Such a joyous inner journey that takes time and effort to create--no wonder some don't understand--not all hear music in the same way. Your words made my heart sing.
I read your testimony on your website (thank you for the link) and was lifted and moved by your journey and God's amazing grace. It's wonderful how He loves us--just the way we need! God bless you!

Dina Sleiman said...

I enjoyed your story. My daughter is also a dancer, and at least for the moment, one of my sons is very interested in dance as well. We're blessed to be in an area where worship dance ministries exist in all denominations of churches. My daughter and I lead one together at our congregation. I usually find a way to incorporate dance into my writing as well. Your story reminds me so much of a scene in a novel my agent is pitching for me right now. I'm sure God has great things in store for your daughter :)

Karen said...

What a beautiful story. There are so many ways we can reach people for Christ and it is a shame that some Christians want to close doors that might be another's way to learn of God's love. In Hawaii, we visited several churches and the one that touched me most was the church that had a dance ministry. Of course it was Hawaii and the dance was the hula but it was done with the beautiful hand expressions that the native culture uses to tell the story of the wonder of God's world. It was beautiful and very appropriate.

Gina Holmes said...

This gave me goosebumps, Marcia. You said it so perfectly. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing that sweet lady.

Krista Phillips said...

LOVE that story! Thank you for sharing!!!!!

Aimee L. Salter said...

This moved me deeply. God bless your daughter!

And your words were a very timely encouragement. Thank you!

pattisjarrett said...

Your daughter's story is a testimony of God being glorified in EVERY gift He has planted in His people.

Marcia said...

Thanks everyone, for the comments. It's such an encouragement to me. :)Marcia

Alexis said...

I am so inspired when people use their God given gifts, whatever they may be. I'm even that much more inspired when they use those gifts to glorify God. I'm glad we are all different and I'm thankful there are so many creative and talented Christians out there. Thank you so much for sharing this Marcia. It is very timely. HUGSSSS

Ane Mulligan said...

I'm so glad my church allows this. We have one gal at our church who is or was a professional dancer. She's in her 30s now and dances for the Lord at our church. When she does, it's so worshipful it's amazing.

You pay more attention to the words when someone signs or dances, since their movements enhance the words. I pray the Lord opens door for her in that way, Marcia.

A beautiful post and a good reminder that a lot of people are going to be very surprised when the get to Heaven. LOL

Tina said...

What a lovely post! Love this. Thank you for the inspiration, Marcia.