God moves. He is rushing wind, raging water, consuming fire. God is gentle breath, sacred whisper, setting sun. God is eternal activity, peace in motion, and fluid glory penetrating exterior and interior walls.
God is beat, rhythm, and song. He motivates the tune, conducts the band, and sets the pace. His theme swirls creation, makes the disconnected parts one. Those who have voice are called to sing! Those who have being are called to move with the melody.
We are hardwired with the dance. I remember when my youngest son Samuel was one year old. The dance was already in him. On lonely days, long days, mournful days, I would come home tired, stiff-souled.
But then I’d see my Sam, God’s little messenger. Music often seemed in order. I’d turn on a sweet song and raise the volume to get Sam’s attention. I’d prop him up on his still somewhat reluctant feet and lean him against the couch. Without command, instruction, or prodding, as the music began, Samuel moved. His toddler body rhythmically swayed and wiggled to the beat. There has always been a dance within my Sam, something deposited at the foundations of the world before concrete covered Eden’s most familiar paths.
When Samuel embraces the beat I often call my wife from the kitchen. “Jennifer, come look.” As she turns the corner she catches a sacred site. Her little boy, the last to suckle, swaying to a tune he cannot name. I catch my wife’s subtle joy. Her contentment says it all. “What we are doing is good and right. All this labor, concern, and care; it frees the dance, makes it possible.”
Theologians have a habit of stagnation. We gaze at the rushing river and try to capture its majesty. Unable to slow the waters, we try to divert the stream into a manageable reservoir. In our attempt to encapsulate the message, we kill the flow. Our theology turns rushing waters into drainage ponds.
God moves through creation, through us. Yet so many of us are standing still. We are caught in diverted waters, mud puddles, and mirky swamps of endless redundancy. The muck and mire covers our soul while the reeds slowly overtake what was once fresh water.
When I see my little boy dance, I am convinced that God has a song worthy of such pure movement. Unfortunately, many of us experience lives of twisted motion. We have stumbling legs, flailing arms, and an awkward tempo. We cling to fleeting songs and misguided tunes. Some of us don’t dance at all. We sit on the sidelines idle and afraid, waiting for the song to end.
God is more than sermon, more than message, more than doctrine. He is life in motion. From beginning to end His glory moves the earth and stirs humanity. The question remains, are we willing to follow God’s tune? Some of us have forgotten the music; we have stood still so long the dance seems a myth or dream. We have become living statues, immovable monuments to futility.
Yet I hear a song that flows from the heart of God. It is a worthy tune! It calls to the deeper core, bypasses my intellectual striving, and demands a response. When I yield to this music, my awkward self subsides, and the flowing peace of God remains. God moves and I am moved. For I have been created to dance.