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