There is a popular reality television show that everyone is familiar with, even if they don’t watch it, called dancing with the Stars. The concept is to pair up professional dancers with known celebrities from the world of entertainment and sports who have little to no professional dance training and turn them into reasonable facsimiles of Ginger Rogers or Fred Astaire. I watched with curiosity the first episode of this season because a NASCAR Driving legend, Michael Waltrip, was on the show and I wanted to see if he had moves on the dance floor that compared to his moves on a race track. It became apparent within about ten seconds why he is a racing legend and not a dancing star. In racing terms, he missed a gear on the start, was loose in the corners and tight exiting, had no grip and could not stay close enough to his dance partner to take advantage of the draft. I don’t see him being a celebrity dancing judge anytime in this lifetime. The same can be said with many of the celebrities selected to appear on this show.
The title of this week’s blog is obviously a play on the title of the popular show. Dancing in it’s truest form is an expression of joy and freedom, whether you can dance the waltz with grace or you are like me and do the Humpty Hump like a white boy at the club. Most people enjoy cutting loose and letting your inhibitions go once the music comes on. How many times have you seen people deep in conversation in a club suddenly jump to their feet and head to the floor proclaiming “that’s my groove!”. There is a release that comes from personal expression, even if you have three left feet. But for many dancing through life is a difficult task. Present or past circumstances prevent one from feeling totally free. Scars from previous episodes are too painful to dance through. Those scars may represent the emotional wounds of silent depression, bitter divorces, physical or mental abuse, addictions that still haunt you, rejection by those close to you-there are an unlimited number of traumas that leave scars in our lives that may not be evident to everyone but are real just the same. Those scars are sometimes like heavy chains weighing one down to the point that freedom of any joyful expression is nearly impossible and like Michael Waltrip, awkward at best.
In my life I have felt the pain of divorce, lived through the destruction of alcoholism, suffered the devastation of total loss of fire, dealt with serious illness-all things that can shake a person’s faith to the core. Joining in to the dance of life with joy is not always easy. There tends to be a hesitation or even a fear that any joy expressed will be temporary as you are always expecting something else to come your way and add another scar. And in the deepest and darkest times of despair, you even question the willingness of God to sustain or restore you. The enemy convinces you that your scars are ugly before God and that even He won’t look upon you because they are repulsive. When God delays His responses to your urgent beseeching, you wonder if maybe the enemy is right. Job must have felt this when God removed His hand of protection and blessing from him, leaving him literally scarred and in a heap of ashes. Listen to his words found in Job 10;
18 “‘Why, then, did you deliver me from my mother’s womb?
Why didn’t you let me die at birth?
19 It would be as though I had never existed,
going directly from the womb to the grave.
20 I have only a few days left, so leave me alone,
that I may have a moment of comfort
21 before I leave—never to return—
for the land of darkness and utter gloom.
22 It is a land as dark as midnight,
a land of gloom and confusion,
where even the light is dark as midnight.’”
Remember if you know this story that just a few chapters earlier the Bible describes Job as not only a righteous man, but says that in all the earth there was no one else like him! Job was the standard for Godly living for his time. How quickly and completely was his destruction and how deep the scars inflicted, that the most wealthy and righteous man on the face of the earth could so easily question everything he believed about God because of the overwhelming circumstances he found himself in, through no real fault of his own. His kids were destroyed while they were dancing-Job had no more desire to dance.
How many of us have been there in our lives, or maybe you are reading this and going through a similar stage even now? We become self-conscious of our scars and reluctant to show them. Reluctance can lead to isolation and from there to depression and hopelessness. We shun dance floors. What is our answer? Here is the solution, at least as best as I can put into words that carry some truth. Our feelings of despair, our awareness of the ugliness of our scars and our repulsion to others and to God, as real as they may feel, are a FALSE SELF PERCEPTION! How do we know this to be true? It’s simple. Scripture tells us over and over and over again that GOD LOVES US! There is no shortage of passages that refer to God delighting in our existence, in God accepting us as we are, in God forgetting our sins and removing our scars as far as the east is from the west! God relishes contriteness, brokenness, disillusionment, all manner of emotional suffering and reaffirms that nothing in our life, our past, nothing in Heaven or earth, nothing we’ve done or could ever do can ever separate us from or change the level of God’s love for us. God sees our scars as beauty marks, as evidence of battles we’ve endured and lived to tell about. We are encouraged to dance through the pain like no one is watching, to sing out loud even if we miss the notes and to live life as a celebration of the uniqueness of our experiences-to DANCE WITH THE SCARS!
Don’t miss out on life because of your inability to put steps together. No one is judging or voting on our elimination. Don’t fear the freedom of joyous expression as you live your life, scars and all!
On a personal note, many of you have opted to follow my weekly blog. There are millions of us doing this-I am deeply honored that you follow mine. I welcome feedback and certainly all referrals to your friends and family if you like what we put out each week as we attempt to exhort you to living your faith in real life. God bless you all!