Little Drummer Girl

“Dance is absolutely not an appropriate art for worship. It is almost indecent to think about dancing in church. And on the altar? No, my dear, no.”

Like so many others in church, I was seeking permission from the leaders to bring my gift from the Lord in prayer, praise and worship. This strong rebuke left no room for discussion and no margin for doubt. My gift was not wanted or recognized as a valid worship art.

I went home and prayed about my encounter and asked God to release me from the dream of dancing with and for Him. After a few weeks, I submitted to the words of the church elders and accepted the fact that my art was not altar worthy.

For months I tried to bury the dream of dancing with and for God’s people. I even questioned Him about the reminders He sent in dreams and visions when I heard praise music. My mind always saw a dance. My feet refused to be still and my heart flooded with praise in the movement.

Then one Christmas I was listening to music on the radio and I heard the song, “The Little Drummer Boy.” The song is about a child who felt his gift was not worthy of the new king. Still he was encouraged to bring his gift to the cradle of the Baby Jesus too, and to give his very best.

I closed my eyes and listened to the story of the small, fictitious boy who brought his gift forward and offered what he had to our Lord. He played his best for Jesus, emphasizing his praise with every heartbeat, “Pa rum pum pum-pum” Oh how I identified with the little boy – shy, small and convinced he had gift poverty. But God said, “Bring your gift child, bring your gift.”

“I have no gift to bring
Pa rum pum pum-pum
That’s fit to give our King
Pa rum pum pum-pum”

My hurting heart heard the words and understood that no matter what anyone said, God defines worthy; and all of His gifts are worthy. I committed that day to always dance for an audience of One first. He approved my gift and He would use what He gave me at His designated time. I just needed to keep dancing for and with Him.

“I played my drum for Him
Pa rum pum pum-pum
I played my best for Him
Pa rum pum pum-pum
Rum pum pum-pum
Rum pum pum-pum
Then He smiled at me
Pa rum pum pum-pum
Me and my drum.” Lyrics by Katherine Kennicott Davis, 1941

In the stillness of that moment and the peace of recognition, I knew the time would come for dance to be brought into worship. And it wasn’t long before it was.

Since then, I’ve danced from California to Ottawa in praise to Jesus. I’ve been in big churches and small, retreats and workshops – as teacher and student. God has used this gift to bless, heal and encourage others as each step brings glory to Him.

I never stop thanking Him for that moment when He used a secular tune to comfort and encourage me in His plans. And there are few mornings, after awakening, when I don’t walk into the presence of my favorite dance partner. He always takes me in his arms and we move together in prayer and praise. I sigh and hum, “Pa rum pum pum-pum.”

Copyright June 2019 Laura L. Padgett, Lakewood, CO

Connect with me on Twitter @lauraleepadgett  or my Facebook Author Page

Check out the books I have published:

“Dolores, Like the River,” available at Westbow Press, Barnes & NobleAmazon and all major online retailers.

The award-winning “Jesus in Shorts: Twenty-five Shorts Stories of Life-Changing Jesus Moments,” available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Or see the Upcoming Events tab on this website for locations where I will be selling and signing my books.

See my Publications tab on this website for books I am featured in, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books and Xulon Press, “Letters to America”.

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