When interpreting Scripture (and most any literature) correctly, “context” helps greatly. Someone once said “a picture says a thousand words.” True – but not always. To this day, five centuries after its creation, da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” still perplexes experts in regard to the context surrounding the painting i.e. “Who is the woman in the painting?”, “What was the occasion?”, etc.
Below is a video clip, barely over 10 seconds in length, showing me “dancing.” My dance moves, disturbing as they are, take on significant meaning once given the context of that moment. Here’s the context: This video was taken on Wednesday morning (6/19/13) at Super Summer (the best youth camp on the planet) at HSU in Abilene, TX. Due to the recent loss of my son, Jordan – and his strong connection to Super Summer – the week, for me, vacillated between “joy in the morning” and “the dark night of the soul.” It was a RELENTLESS mental & spiritual war. Many times, I had to literally force myself to survive the week as I would have to often, out loud, say to myself: “Nick, breathe in, and breathe out…”, “Nick, take a step…put one foot in front of the other…”, “Nick, get out of bed,” and “Nick, do NOT isolate yourself from these people.” Super Summer, my FAVORITE week of my year, was brutally painful for me. However, as my dear friend, Mike Martindale, helped me understand, the only thing worse than coming to Super Summer this year – would have been NOT coming to Super Summer this year.
Christ was waiting for me at Super Summer. Waiting for me IN the pain? Yes. In the darkness? Yes. In the loneliness? Yes, yes, yes…. And, what you need to know is that, no less than ONE MINUTE before this video was taken, I was suffocating in the thickness of “the dark night of the soul.” I was sitting alone. My 16 year old daughter, Macy, was using God’s Word to encourage me to “stay the course.” And then….., all of a sudden – the best way I know how to describe it is like this: Jesus said, “Nick, I’ve got you – let’s dance.” 🙂
So I did.
It just came out of nowhere. It was a FORCE. All of sudden I found myself ENRAPTURED in the joy & love of Jesus Christ amidst 600 teenagers. I found myself mindlessly doing the only dance moves I knew – not caring who was watching (or filming.) And, for the first time since my son went to dance with Christ for eternity, my soul learned to dance again. Did I struggle the rest of the week at camp? Horribly. BUT…., the “dance moves” of my soul had begun again. I like how The Message Bible renders Paul’s words to the Thessalonians: “One final word, friends. We ask you—urge is more like it—that you keep on doing what we told you to do to please God, not in a dogged religious plod, but in a living, spirited DANCE.” (1 Thess. 4:1-3)
My life’s prayer is that of John’s: “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20) But, until You get here, Jesus, let me dance. 🙂