“I can’t do this!” I protest, trying in vain to copy the graceful movements of the worship dance. Discouraged at my stumbles and awkward steps, afraid of making a fool of myself in front of everyone, I want to quit. Sighing in resignation, I feel defeated. I’ll never be a dancer.
When I was five or six years old, I had visions of being a world-famous ballerina. Twirling around in my living room in a long, flowing skirt, I would practice pointing my toes and arching my arms overhead like I had seen professional dancers do. I wanted desperately to take ballet classes with my friends in their cute pink leotards and delicate ballet slippers.
Now, as an adult, I’m thrilled to be a part of our church dance team. Yet insecurity over my lack of skill and training makes me extremely self-conscious and fearful of failure.
Dance for Jesus
“You don’t have to be a professional dancer,” Angela, the leader of the dance team, patiently encourages me again and again during practices and performances. “You’re a worshiper. Just dance for Jesus.”
On Easter Sunday morning this year, my palms start sweating as I stand on the stage with the three other dancers, waiting for the music to begin. I can feel myself getting nervous and fearful. Though previously I’ve always been in the back corner, half-hiding behind the grand piano, this time I’m on the front row. “You can do this,” Angela had insisted. “You know this dance. And remember, you’re a worshiper.”
“No sweeter name than the name of Jesus, No sweeter name have I ever known,” the song begins and I silently count the beats, trying to relax and focus on the words of the song.
“…You are the life to my heart and my soul, You are the light to the darkness around me…”
Suddenly I realize that I’m no longer wondering what the congregation is thinking about me. I’m not worrying about whether I will stumble or forget a step. It’s true – I’m a worshiper. I’m dancing for Jesus.
I close my eyes and imagine myself as that little girl twirling in the living room. I picture Jesus taking my hand and spinning me around, laughing with me. Overcome with joy, I almost jump off the stage as the truth washes over me.
I’m His little girl. I’m His ballerina.
“Let Israel rejoice in their Maker, let the people of Zion be glad in their King. Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp. For the LORD takes delight in his people.” Psalm 149:2-4a (NIV)