FreerangeFriday: Accepting the Invitation to Dance

by Lilly Lewin

by Lilly Lewin

Little kids love to dance. They move their bodies easily to music. They feel the joy of the music and aren’t afraid to move with it. I have a friend named Anna and her little daughter has learned all the River Dance moves by watching the videos. She started this at 3 and now at 5 is taking lessons in Irish dancing. She is passionate and free! I saw a video on instagram recently of a young toddler watching the music video of Jon Baptist’s “ Freedom.” He was moving with the music. His mom said this was his favorite song! It’s become one of my favorite songs too. It’s helping me relearn to dance! The joy in the music just makes me want to move.

I used to dance. I took ballet when I was in early elementary school. I loved it. There is even an old home movie of me trying to teach my little brother how to dance with me wearing a tutu. But somewhere along the way, I lost that love of dancing I lost how to dance!
I didn’t make it to pointe in ballet so never had toe shoes….If I had, I might have continued to dance. But I have that “not good enough” or “not perfect enough” thing and I tended to stick with things I that weren’t too hard to learn, things that I felt already good at like art.

As I grew up, I got into other hobbies and dance wasn’t one of them. It sadly wasn’t a natural part of me. While I loved listening to music, dance parties weren’t a part of my daily life. Instead, I was singing Broadway tunes in the barn to the cows as I threw down their hay.

When I had young kids, I tried another dance class at a local college. But there I felt out of place and uncorodinated. I’m not sure I even finished the class. My hips definitely lied to me.

Maybe it’s hard for me to dance because I haven’t done a lot of it. I don’t naturally move in that free way that real dancers do.  What about you? Are you a dancer? Was dancing a natural part of your life as a kid ?

As an enneagram 7, I am much more in my head than in my body. This year as I’ve started doing strength training, I am learning just how disconnected I am from my body and my breathing. I’m learning how to breathe all over again. I am learning how to pay attention to where I feel emotions in my body and how my muscles all work together. It’s been a very good but rather humbling process.

Breath and Breathing and Dancing are all invitations of the Spirit.
dance 1

dance 1

Author Joyce Rupp, in her book, MAY I HAVE THIS DANCE,  invites us to consider the Invitation of Jesus to dance with Him.

But just when
The old heap of bones seems most dry
And deserted,
A strong Breath of Life
Stirs among the dead.

Someone named God
Comes to my fragments
And asks, with twinkling eye:
“May I have this dance?”

“God constantly visits my valley of dry bones and invites me to dance. “ Joyce Rupp

I think we all need to accept the invitation to DANCE with JESUS!

cross hill 2

One year at the Abbey of Gethsemani, The Sprit invited me to go dance before God on the Cross hill…I went up the hill and danced with Jesus …and Jesus asked me to leave my shoes as a symbol of leaving behind the old things …Jesus invited me to leave behind my fears and dance freely in the love and grace of the protected one.
More recently I was invited by my friend Katherine to attend an experiential dance class led by Hillary Mcbride and Lisa Gungor. It was a step of faith for me and getting out of my comfort zone. But I decided to accept the invitation of Jesus and went for it!
While I wasn’t as free as some of the folks there to move and dance the entire session…through the dancing and movement that I did do, Jesus met me and showed me some powerful things.

I found myself swaying to the music and holding my arms as if I was holding a baby. I have taught myself and others that we need to be wrapped in God’s love just as Mary wrapped Jesus in swaddling clothes. In this dance experience, Jesus showed me that I needed to be rocked in God’s love as an infant in the arms of LOVE, and know too that I can rock myself and love myself. I backed against a wall as I moved and this reminded me that Jesus has my back….I smiled broadly as I danced up against that WALL OF LOVE.

How do you view dancing with Jesus now?

Did you have any experience dancing in a church or worship setting? Or was dancing illegal?

In 2 Samuel 6, King David Danced before the Lord with all his might!
Ecclesiastes 3:4 reminds us that there is a time to mourn and a time to dance.
And the prophet Jeremiah gives us hope….

Then young women will dance and be glad,
young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into gladness;
I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
Jeremiah 31:13

How do you feel about dancing? What does dancing feel like to you?
Is it easy for you to dance?
Does music bring you to your feet and get you moving?
How does it feel to be invited to dance with Jesus?

Joyce Rupp says “Prayer is a time to dance with our Divine Partner, to let God take the lead, and to enjoy the true delight and source of life that God is for us. “

What if we practice movement/dance as an act of prayer? What would that be like for you? What music would you put on to dance to? Would you be inside or outside for you dance party?

Holy Spirit drawing

In these days following Pentecost, let the Spirit fill you with love and freedom to dance again! Let the Spirit BREATHE into you again! Accept the Invitation to Dance with Jesus!

The Valley of Dry Bones Ezekiel 37: 1-5
The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?”
I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
4 Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”

LISTEN to Jon Batiste’s Song Freedom and practice your Dancing! and receive the Freedom and Love of Jesus!

©lillylewin and

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