Sometimes you just have to dance in a field.
Don’t you love it when God gives you a message that’s so beautiful and clear you know it came from Him? A few weeks ago He spoke this one through my young friend Alexis. You’ve met her in these pages before. He knows I treasure her adventurous spirit and am always so grateful to see His hand in her life.
That week had been a hard one for her. She’d been working through some difficult life issues with grace and courage; but frustration after disappointment after struggle had left her weary. Then her beloved grandfather died. What can one possibly say in the face of such pain?
Here’s what she said: “I cried all morning. Then God gave me… like… the sweetest peace. I took a long, quiet walk around the neighborhood and when I got back to my apartment Brooke was waiting. I had to laugh when she said, ‘Let’s take a walk around the neighborhood.’ It helped even more to be walking with my best friend and when we came to this vacant field we didn’t say a word; we just started dancing. Sometimes when you come to a field you just have to dance.”
I think she’ll always find a field in which to dance. Sometimes the field is just waiting for you to start dancing. The one she’s enjoying right now has been calling her for several years, and her dream of teaching children on the mission field is being realized—at least for the moment—in a short-term trip to India. Here’s how she described her first day teaching:
“I jumped into the first class I saw with no teacher (150 students to 1 teacher around here). 8th graders! We started with some grammar lessons in between laughs bc my gosh I couldn’t get my life together- dropped everything like 30 times, tripped, forgot to introduce myself, etc. ????- and then PRAISE we moved to social studies. One of my degrees is in sociology (one study of the social studies), so I was super hyped to try and teach about it.
“They were just starting to learn about the constitution of India (political science- not really my thing, but I tried). I compared it to a cricket game (cricket::soccer::football kinda I think maybe). Everybody has to play by the rules in cricket, just like everybody in India has to play by the rules of the constitution. What’s bigger than that though is that India is considered a democracy. So I made it very clear to them that their voice matters and what they decide to do with their life MATTERS and who they are matters, just like every single player on a cricket team matters. Every player, every person. The team doesn’t win if someone decides not to use their talent. The team doesn’t win if one player uses the team to show off their own moves. The team doesn’t win if they don’t encourage each other. It takes everybody. We all matter. We all gotta step up and play our part. That’s how the game works, a democracy works (kind of) and how life works.
And not just in India. Every person, everywhere. Your voice matters. Your life matters. What you do matters. Good reminder, amirite? I know it’s a good reminder for me at least.”
Ah yes, my dear friend! A good reminder for us all. And what a wonderful lesson for those kids. I’m so proud of the work you’re doing and excited that you finally believe how much you matter to God… And to me… And all the others who love you… And all the others who may never know you but whose lives you’ll touch, nonetheless.
Sometimes we need to take a long walk around the neighborhood and dance in the field that’s waiting. There’s one in which we all should be dancing right now and it’s incredibly important. This year’s primary election is August 7. Some races in our area will actually be decided then. Others will choose the candidate we hope will represent our values and convictions in the general election in November. As Alexis reminds us, “Your voice matters. Your life matters. What you do matters. It takes everybody. We all matter. We all gotta step up and play our part. That’s how the game works.” My friend Randy Gariss put it this way: “…there is a place in politics where the real business of a government intersects with the values of the Kingdom. Whether a people will have a government that knows of justice and mercy depends upon the character and quality of the leaders they select. There is always a role for the people of the Kingdom to play; they must always be in the search for men and women who are capable of leading wisely and well.”
Are you praying and searching and preparing to vote wisely? What we do really does matter and often we have no idea how God may use our little “dropped and tripped and forgot” moments. So “…let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” (Hebrews 12:28) Sometimes the field is waiting for you. Sometimes you need to go find one and just start dancing. So if you’ll please excuse me, I think there’s a field calling my name.