Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Borders Inside.

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The phrase, “The arts have the power to break borders,” has graced my ears many times. That is, the arts have the power to tear down barriers between different people groups, where no other language has yet been able to, in order to spark a genuine connection between these people.

Like that first spark when creating a campfire just as the dusk snuggles in; it is a flicker of light and hope.  And this concept has always fascinated me. Perhaps because it uses creativity as a palpable tool for effecting lives on a massive scale.

To my surprise, this ‘creativity spark’ ignited, perfectly timed, at a smaller level within myself. The wonder of movement demolished a barrier that I’d constructed, one that hindered my ability to receive from God.

Let me explain. This season is peculiar to me. I’ve just moved to a new city, to be surrounded by little that is familiar – things like close community, the feel of driving familiar roads, places that are special to me simply because of the shared memories created there. This lack of familiarity screams adventure to me, but all in the same breath it brings moments when I feel like I’m floundering. It breeds new exploration, new community, new memories, fresh movement and space and breath. And, at times, freshly squeezed pain.

And so, with these brief pinpricks of uncertainty over the past couple of weeks came a frightful response: close off all vulnerability to my Creator. After all, He’s the one who led me here. What is He doing?

It almost reminds me of the frustration I felt as a child when playing that dreaded ‘bop-the-squirrel-on-the-head-game’ at arcades with my cousins. I hated that game because I could never predict when a little plastic rodent would rear its ugly head, and then just as quickly disappear before I could reach it. Like those pesky rodents, the moments of raw pain at leaving a place I loved seem to arise with no predictable rhythm, and without a way for me to squash their existence. And, since I’ve been here, I’ve struggled. I’ve fought to embrace this place with grace, with longing to devour the new with a distinct guttural passion familiar to me. I have little events or activities to distract myself with.

In one such recent moment, God broke through and spoke to my heart. He told me to dance. Not for anybody but Him. And so I listened and let the movement flow forth from the River of Life.

Something very living and awakening happened. The one who molded each star in the heavens allowed me to come to this place, simply because He knows that I will almost always do things in my own strength if left to my own devices. But in this breath, I needed Him even to dance.

There was a deep communication with my Maker that I can’t put into sensible words. It was delicious. I delighted to explore all different types of movement: balletic, jumps, skips, angrily frustrated choppy, jerky movements, contract and release, turns, leaps, letting gravity pull me to the ground.

And for those moments it was as if something in the deepest parts of myself that needed to be uplifted was, and was also deeply understood and embraced by my loving God. It was as though He let me know that He empathized with me via dance. There was a healing moment, right there in that place, as a daughter danced with her Creator.

Raw and honest, He saw me, loved me, inspired me, and moved with me.

A song that inspires:

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