Monday, June 13, 2011

The Dance

There is a recurring dream. I am below ground, how far below I do not know. I am dragging myself along with my elbows, exhausted human prey crawling through the duct work just minutes ahead of an unseen predator. There is light ahead, a square of light, about 50 feet in front of me. I continue to move forward. I am a body-length from the light. I can feel the freshness of the air, the warmth of the sunlight. I crawl with more urgency. I am nearly there. The door slams shut. A lock turns. It will not open. There is no way to move forward. There is not room to turn around. There is nothing to crawl back to. I hear my own breathing. I am aware of my own heartbeat.

There are no words. I stand in front of an audience. I am very afraid. I would rather die – be run over by a semi, an eighteen wheeler – than stand in front and speak. I hear my own breathing. I am aware of my own heartbeat.

It is September 2008. It is Wednesday evening. In the Bauer Dining Room of the Green Lake Conference Center, I see a familiar face. Perry, my friend and my pastor, walks toward me. He asks how I am doing, here, in this place I was afraid to be – surrounded by women from around the world who are serving women and children caught in the tangled web of human trafficking, precious advocates bringing hope and light where others see only darkness.

I am radiant. This place, this conference, is a spa for my mind, my heart, my soul. Perry listens, then he asks … will you speak, in front of our community, Sunday morning?

I hear my own breathing. I am aware of my own heartbeat.

I can’t – the familiar words, the words I used all summer – ringing in my head.

Over the next 88 hours, I hear the question repeating within me … will I speak, in front of my community, Sunday morning?

The question is attentive, determined, dogged, persistent, tenacious, resolute. On Sunday morning, 20 minutes before worship begins, Perry asks again.

No cries my fear-filled heart. Yes my voice answers. I agree to say 20 words. I hide in an alcove. On a sheet of borrowed paper, I scribble 20 words.

I take the microphone and in a quiet trembling voice share how I’d rather be run over by the truck. I am interrupted. The playful voice of a puppet behind me says, that’s 8 words … I laugh, letting go of the fear. I share how my heart was moved by the women bringing light into the darkness.

I no longer scurry like human prey through the duct work. The last time the dream haunted me, my friend was there, on the ground above me, opening the door. A familiar face welcomed me as I crawled out – elbows scraped, eyes squinting at the light – to lay exhausted on the green, green grass.

This day is a new day. This week a new week. What yes awaits me at the end of the next 88 hours?

Like Steve Carell in Evan Almighty, will I take a leap of faith? Will I do the dance? Will I build something, do something, that will make a difference in this world? Will I let go of my fear and laugh?

Will I dance with God?

Evan Almighty

Divine Idea by Fabian Kruse
Imitation is Suicide. Insist on yourself; never imitate. – Ralph Waldo Emerson Write down in which areas of your life you have to overcome these suicidal tendencies of imitation, and how you can transform them into a newborn you – one that doesn’t hide its uniqueness, but thrives on it. There is a “divine idea which each of us represents” – which is yours? (Author: Fabian Kruse)

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