Our God, Our Dance Partner

First, let this description help you imagine that God dances:

“The theologians in the early church tried to describe this wonderful reality that we call Trinity. If any of you have ever been to a Greek wedding, you may have seen their distinctive way of dancing . . . It’s called perichoresis.

There are not two dancers, but at least three. They start to go in circles, weaving in and out in this very beautiful pattern of motion. They start to go faster and faster and faster, all the while staying in perfect rhythm and in sync with each other.

Eventually, they are dancing so quickly (yet so effortlessly) that as you look at them, it just becomes a blur. Their individual identities are part of a larger dance.

The early church fathers and mothers looked at that dance (perichoresis) and said, “That’s what the Trinity is like.” It’s a harmonious set of relationship in which there is mutual giving and receiving. This relationship is called love, and it’s what the Trinity is all about.

The perichoresis is the dance of love.”      (by Jonathan Marlowe)

http://musicanddancing.wordpress.com/perichoresis/

 

 Then, consider that God wants you to join in the dance:

“From all eternity, God is not alone and solitary, but lives as Father, Son and Spirit in a rich and glorious and abounding fellowship of utter oneness. There is no emptiness in this circle, no depression or fear or insecurity. 

The Trinitarian life is a great dance of unchained communion and intimacy, fired by passionate, self-giving and other-centered love, and mutual delight.  This life is good.  It is right, unique, full of music and joy, blessedness and peace.

Such love, giving rise to such togetherness and fellowship and oneness, is the womb of the universe and of humanity within it. The stunning truth is that this Triune God, in amazing and lavish love, determined to open the circle and share the Trinitarian life with others.”    (by C. Baxter Kruger)

 http://baxterkruger.blogspot.ca/2012/09/summary-of-trinitarian-vision.html

 

Feet starting to tap? 

       There is more, much more to understand and to ask for.

               And, God’s dance card has your name on it….

 Check out:

              C. Baxter Kruger, author –

                     “The Parable of the Dancing God”

                      “The Great Dance”

 Get ready for heavenly choreography!

Footballers at the Barre

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Football and ballet? 

There are more similarities to the footwork than you would think.  Both activities use the same muscle groups and require similar skills.  They even share some of the same injuries.

 What can football players gain by practicing ballet?

  • Flexibility – to avoid tackles and make catches
  • Speed and Agility – to recover speed after changing direction or spinning to avoid a tackle
  • Strength – to increase muscle without bulk, especially important for kickers and other offensive players
  • Balance – to land on their feet after leaping for a catch and to stay on their feet during a tackle
  • Mental Focus – to follow complex plays, track the position of the ball in the air and make decisions on the fly.
  • Endurance – to strengthen their heart and circulatory systems enabling intense muscular work with less tiring.

http://healthyliving.azcentral.com/ballet-football-1747.html

 

For a testimony on a 320-pounder who straps on the slippers, check out:

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/eye-on-football/22954120/steve-mclendon-ballet-is-harder-than-anything-else-i-do

 

Picture source:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=football+players+doing+ballet&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=UMhuUveVDM-QyQHJhoDIDA&ved=0CC8QsAQ&biw=1366&bih=566

 

 

The Feet of the Torah

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‘Simchat Torah’ is an exuberant dance performed while holding the Torah wrapped in its mantle.  The Torah wants to dance but as it has no feet; a Jew must become ‘the feet of the Torah’. 

Think of it this way:

“The foot is utterly nullified to the will of the brain, as we can see from the fact that a person’s thought-impulse to move his foot is instantly obeyed. A foot that does not heed the command of the brain is not healthy.

Similarly the dancing of Simchat Torah expresses complete acceptance of the Heavenly yoke and submission… the Torah’s commands are fulfilled without hesitation or deliberation.”  (Likkutei Sichot, vol. 4, p. 1169)

http://www.chabad.org/holidays/JewishNewYear/template_cdo/aid/4538/jewish/The-Feet-of-the-Torah.htm

Each week in synagogues around the world, a portion of the Torah is chanted. Over the course of a year, the entire Torah is recited.  The final reading of this cycle occurs on Simchat Torah, a Rabbinical festival celebrating both the completion of the Torah’s reading cycle and the start of the new cycle.

 http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Holidays/Fall_Holidays/Simchat_Torah/simchat_torah.html

Dancing at the Destination

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From the Globe and Mail. October 28, 2013

https://plus.google.com/+globeandmail/posts/gWWhopaK9fP#+globeandmail/posts/gWWhopaK9fP

Moment in Time  (by Kim Mackrael)

October 28, 1830. Escaped slave Josiah Henson reaches Canada

It was an autumn morning when Josiah Henson first set foot on Canadian soil after a grueling journey with his wife and four children.

After crossing the Niagara River from Buffalo, he recalled, “I threw myself on the ground, rolled in the sand, seized handfuls of it and kissed them, and danced around, till, in the eyes of several who were present, I passed for a madman.”

A staunch Methodist preacher, Henson founded a settlement for former slaves in Dawn Township near Dresden, Ont., and worked to help others escape the U.S. South via the Underground Railroad. But he’s perhaps best known as the inspiration for the main character in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, an abolitionist novel often said to have helped start the U.S. Civil War.  

A Natural Pairing: Women and Shoes

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The Shoe Project is a writing workshop that enables women new to Canada to share life stories based on their memorable shoes. The workshops, led by award-winning author Katherine Govier, are held at the Bata Shoe Museum in downtown Toronto.

 Katherine states on her website http://www.govier.com/shoe.htm    “We meet for eight weeks in spring and fall. We exchange stories of arrival, and the role shoes play in old and new lives. At the end of each session we have either a ‘Snapshot Exhibit’ or a performance…The Shoe Project tours, too! Our shoes have been exhibited at Bow Valley College in Calgary and Mohawk College in Hamilton.”

 Check out these titles, among many others: 

  • In My Red High Heels
  • My Valentino Shoes
  • Democratic Shoes
  • My Mother’s Working Shoes
  • The Wind Beneath My Feet
  • My Convocation Shoes
  • My Great Grandmother: The Wartime Shoemaker
  • Sand in My Shoes

 For more information write to:  shoeprojecttoronto@gmail.com

Unforgotten Feet

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 picture source:

 http://www.ushmm.org/information/press/press-kits/20th-anniversary/shoes-confiscated-from-prisoners-at-majdanek

 

 Holocaust Museum   (By Jane Shore)    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/237966

  [The following two stanzas are from a longer poem that describes the experience of three friends walking through the Holocaust Museum.]

 

but shoes—mountains of shoes—

 each shoe still shaped to the human

 foot it had once belonged to,

 a man’s shoe, a woman’s shoe,

 a left or a right shoe, its mate

 lost in a pile somewhere;

 

 dusty, scuffed boots and pumps,

 heels worn down to the shank,

 shoes that appeared to have walked

 miles and miles to arrive here.

 The odd thing was—

 the room smelled like feet. 

Standing on His Promise

An immigrant might kiss the ground of a new homeland. In the Old Testament, the Israelites marked their gratitude by standing on the boundary of their new land in the presence of God. Later, they honored the memory with stones from that unusual place.

 Joshua 3:1–4a, 8, 13, 15–16a, 17 (NIV 1984)

Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. After three days the officers went throughout the camp, giving orders to the people: “When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before.”…

 [The Lord said to Joshua] “Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river.’”…

 And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD—the Lord of all the earth—set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap.”…

 Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing…. The priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, while all Israel passed by until the whole nation had completed the crossing on dry ground….

 Joshua 4:1–3, 6b–7, 15–18, 20–22 (NIV 1984)

When the whole nation had finished crossing the Jordan, the LORD said to Joshua, “Choose twelve men from among the people, one from each tribe, and tell them to take up twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan from right where the priests stood and to carry them over with you and put them down at the place where you stay tonight.”…

 “In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ Tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”…

 Then the LORD said to Joshua, “Command the priests carrying the ark of the Testimony to come up out of the Jordan.” So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.” And the priests came up out of the river carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD. No sooner had they set their feet on the dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and ran at flood stage as before….

 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’”  [emphasis mine] 

           One of God’s many covenantal promises was to provide a homeland to Abraham’s descendants. It wasn’t a straightforward inheritance. His promise was eternal, but He delayed its fulfillment.

          As God revealed Himself to successive generations through Isaac and Jacob, He looked for faith and obedience in the hearts of His chosen people. It took a long and circuitous journey to get to the Promised Land. The nation of Israel endured the parallel physical and spiritual enslavement and much wandering.

          But a promise is a promise. In this passage, a more obedient generation finally arrives in the Promised Land. God stands on His promises; He keeps them. You can count on that.

 

From: Sandhu, T.J. (2013). Walking with God: Praying through footwork metaphors in scripture. Unpublished manuscript.

 

One Pair at a Time

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Lita’s Story: Tracings in the Attic

            http://tracings.litajudge.com/stories1.html

 “When I was cleaning out my grandmother’s attic after her death, I found a dusty box stuffed with aged yellowed envelopes. I was intrigued when I lifted out the first envelope; it had a German stamp postmarked 1947 and inside were two paper foot tracings. The next envelope also contained foot tracings and the next and the next. Some were cut out in the shape of feet, others were drawn on paper, tracing the outline of an entire family’s feet…

 I carried the box downstairs to show my mom. She reached for the envelope I held out to her. “You found the tracings,” she said. “I thought Mother had burned them.”

 Mom held the tracings like treasured belongings. “We searched everywhere to find shoes for them all,” she said. She remembered piles of shoes when she was a little girl, and boxes filled with clothes and food to send to people starving in Europe after World War II. She remembered they sent soap and candles too, even toys and sweets for the children. And they knitted socks to fill the shoes they sent.”

 As many Americans gave shoes, post-war Europeans stepped into them. Each tracing identified a person and a size.  Cut by desperate hands and sent in envelopes to the US, the tracings put feet to international reconciliation. One pair at a time.

Unfinished Lives, Unfinished Shoes

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From: The Globe and Mail, Oct. 1, 2013

“Moccasins with a message: Art project honours lost aboriginal women” (by Robert Everett-Green)

http://www.rememberoursisterseverywhere.com/profiles/blogs/mocassins-with-a-message

“How do you mark an unexplained absence, a disappearance, a violent death not accounted for?

                          What do you do when that question is multiplied 600 times…?”

 The mark, the memorial to these missing women: handmade partial shoes, signifying the unfinished life.

 “In July, 2012, Christi Belcourt, a Michif (Métis) artist who lives near Sudbury [Ontario], made a Facebook appeal for help with a year-long collaborative art project called Walking With Our Sisters [walkingwithoursisters.ca], to honor 600 missing or murdered aboriginal women. She hoped to assemble a show of 600 pairs of hand-made moccasin vamps (uppers) – but by year’s end had received 1,723 pairs, from artists and craftspeople all over North America and beyond. Sixty-five new beading circles sprang up around the project.”

One of the Ojibwa artists was quoted, saying, “We say there’s a prayer in every bead.”

 

 

Mephibosheth: Feet Under the Banquet Table

Mephibosheth is introduced in 2 Samuel chapters 4 and 9 as a grandson of King Saul. He was lame in both feet, having fallen as a child.

At that time, the Kingdom of Judah was in turmoil. Mephibosheth assumed that newly crowned David was his enemy and went into hiding. Unexpectedly, King David sent for Mephibosheth, asking his servant to carry the lame boy back to the palace. Mephibosheth misunderstood the king’s purpose and cowered in his presence. To the boy’s surprise, David honored him as a member of the royal household – no conditions attached. David treated him as a son with every right to be at the banquet table.

Mephibosheth’s lame feet were tucked under the “all you can eat” table as he tucked into the feast. But, his eyes were fastened on the king.

Pastor and author Charles Stanley (1) suggests that the Mephibosheth story parallels the one in the Garden of Eden. The comparable “fallen” condition of Adam and Eve prompts them to hide (Genesis 3:8). They and their descendants (you and I) depend on God’s rescue and restoration to His family. Like Mephibosheth, we are invited to dine at the table of the King of Kings. Our celebration of Holy Communion foreshadows this royal banquet. We, like Mephibosheth, have a rightful place at the table when relationship with the King is restored.

 

Adapted from:  Sandhu, T.J. (2013). Walking with God: Praying through footwork metaphors in scripture. Unpublished manuscript.

 

(1)           Charles Stanley,  Mephibosheth, lame on both feet or, the Kindness of God (Bible Centre; 2006 Oct. http://www.biblecentre.org/topics/chst_mephiposheth.htm )