“Where are you, Lord?”
I finally ask the question begging for release, while driving down the road, shuffling kids from one thing to the next. I have avoided asking, avoided admitting there was this distance between me and Him. I was worried. I was worried I had displeased him in some way, that He stepped away because I had messed up.
“Why do I feel like you’re far off?” Just asking the question releases this pressure that’s been building for weeks.
Then, a song filters through the car radio and His whispered response is so clear, so deeply felt that it catches my breath.
“Come dance with me.”
I remember the picture. Him, reaching out his hand and grabbing mine, pulling me close and smiling that deep, soul stirring smile. For a few years, we’ve been dancing together, him leading, my only mission to keep my eyes on his. Every step has been by his gentle guidance. There has been joy in the dance, no fear. He was leading, conquering, speaking.
I was simply dancing.
The picture I see in this moment when he asks me to dance is different. I see Him standing there, reaching out his hand, and I’m not there…
When did that happen?
The truth pours through my soul like hot chocolate after a walk through the snow. Where is He? In the same place He’s always been: right in front of me with an outstretched hand, ready to dance. I let the pressure, the questions and the doubts pull me away. I let go of His hand because I thought perhaps I needed to hunt out the answers somewhere, farther from him. Suddenly, I wasn’t worthy to dance with the King. The old lies resurrected themselves, and I entertained them..
Earn the right
When did I ever earn the right to dance with him? Never. Never did he offer to dance with me because I earned it. He only ever offered to dance with me because it delighted him to do so.
Because love doesn’t wait to be asked, but offers first.
All he asked of me was that I keep my eyes on him, and my hand in his. Every miracle, every victory has come from our dancing together. I’ve never accomplished anything without him, never conquered apart from him.
As tears leak out, I realize that the vacancy I feel isn’t a result of his departure…
it’s a result of mine.
He is always there wanting to dance. So, I take his hand. I shed the worry, fear, and the lies…I shed all of it, again.
Will I ever learn to stay close, to hold tight?
I walk right back to where we started, where he’s always stood, and I take his outstretched hand.
And we begin to dance, again.
When I look into his face the unknown melts away because I remember that I am known.
I am known.
“You never left,” I whisper, hope and relief in the revelation.
“Never.” He smiles as we glide gently across the dance floor.
When I thought he was distant, it was me that had wandered off. Trying to fix things, map out solutions, figure out plans…trying to earn my place. When I wander from him, the gifts become a burden and the dreams a bitter taste in my mouth.
But when we dance?
The world fades, and my heart returns to the place it is meant to be.
Close to him.
Deep in him.
Found in him.