You Have Turned My Mourning Into Dancing- (Ps. 30:11 NIV)

rosebud2 - CopyTwo months before Easter 2011, my pastor asked if the dance team at our church would dance for Easter Services. I said yes and told him I would like to dance to “Days of Elijah” Robin Mark, © 1996 Daybreak Music, Ltd. The reason I chose this song was because it tells of Christ’s promise to deliver us from this troubled, conflicted world in frightening, war-riddled times. I explained I was not sure when, in my life, I felt more helpless about the future of our planet, our young people, or our country. Pastor agreed that Easter is a time to remember the promise and look with hope toward Heaven, regardless of our fears and uncertainty.

The dancers began rehearsal six weeks before Easter. On Sunday, April 24, we danced at all three services to honor the Lord Jesus Christ, remember His promise, and help our parish collectively look to Him for our hope.

The rehearsal schedule was demanding, and the dance was high-energy. It was both exhilarating and exhausting. Keith decided to take me to a mountain condo for a rest the day after Easter. It was there I got the call – Dolores had passed away.

Keith went into town on errands that morning, and I was alone when the news arrived. I wrapped myself in a woolen blanket, sat out on the porch of our condo, and watched the birds searching for food. I was oblivious to the twenty-degree temperature and blowing snow. Here I sat for two hours, glad to be alone. I had all I could do to referee the battle between my heart and my head.

You see, my head was saying, “Dolores was one hundred years old and could no longer see or hear well. Although she did not complain, she often asked what was detaining God and why He was not coming to get her. In her opinion he had rather fallen behind schedule.”

My heart said, “I hurt.”

My head argued, “You are being selfish. She wanted to go home. You should not be sad. Rejoice for her and be glad you helped celebrate her 100th birthday. Be grateful you knew her.”

My heart said, “I hurt.”

My head can be stubborn, does not like pain, and was determined to infuse reason into this discomfort. “Aren’t you glad you had that last conversation with her a few months ago? You know, the one where you told her how much she meant to you, how you admired her, and how grateful you were to have her in your life. You thanked her for being your mentor and friend. You got the chance to tell her you loved her and in some ways to say goodbye. There now, doesn’t that make it all better?”

My heart said, “I hurt.”

My head gave up. My heart spilled forth tears of human grief that defy logic and often reject attempts to offer comfort. I stared out into an empty condo parking lot and breathed in the beautiful mountain winter that reflects terrain my home state is famous for. My tears were met with snowflakes that felt like the soft touch of God, assuring me it was okay to love enough to feel loss.

In the silence and aloneness, I heard music in the swaying trees and howling wind. I heard the words to the chorus of “Days of Elijah.” I closed my eyes, saw the dance we did at Easter and felt an uplifting energy -one gift of true peace. In my little woolen cocoon, I swayed as heart and head reconciled and danced together.

“Behold He comes, riding on the clouds, shining like the sun, at the trumpet’s call. So lift your voice. It’s the year of jubilee. And out of Zion’s hills salvation comes.” Just this part of the song played over and over until I got it. Then I knew. I knew.

That is what it was like for Dolores. She beheld Him coming to take her home. She saw Him shining in His glory ready to welcome her to a place without bodies that betray and loneliness authored by loss of those we love. God turns our mourning into dancing. He is always there and never disappoints.

He went one step further that cold, white, wintery morning and turned my dancing into laughter. He reminded me of the times Dolores teased me about being late and how she joked, sometimes in annoyance, when her name was misspelled.

I laughed out loud as I imagined her entering Heaven and carefully explaining to the Lord she was D-o-l-o-r-e-s, like the river. And no doubt she peered over her eyeglasses, put a bright twinkle in her beautiful eyes and lovingly informed Him, “You know, Lord, you’re late.”

Copyright August 2011
llpadgett
Lakewood, CO 80401

2 comments

  1. Laura, I hope you were there at “The King’s Table” and I hope you stayed and heard your request. As the dancers worshipped to these are the “Days of Elijah” , I hope you rejoiced with us! This is a beautiful expression of love. It’s not just a good work, it’s a blessing to read. You keep livin’ what you’re givin’!

    1. Hope, thank you so much. “The King’s Table” was such a blessing and uplifting, healing worship experience. Thank you. I am glad you like the blog work and I will try to post each week on a variey of topics as well as put some dances on too. I hope you will check back often.

      laura

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