“For in him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28
For the first time in my life, I am taking a dance class. I was a loud-mouthed cheerleader in high school but never a dancer. Let me clarify what type of dance class. Hula. I’ve lived in Hawaii almost eleven years and enjoyed many hula performances. But it is not something I thought I would ever try. That is, until my dear friends signed me up for a five week class taught by their friend. Usually I am a deliberating soul, but here was a gift so I said yes and thank you! I was game even as my non-dancing body laughed at the thought of it!
Have you watched a hula lately? Elegant hands, amazing moving of the hips and tummy. Smiling all the time and making the moves look so graceful. As with any dance, hula has exercises, vocabulary, steps to learn, directions forward and backwards, up and down. In hula, the hands and arms tell a story, they aren’t just movements to compliment the feet and legs. The words to all movements are first Hawaiian. Then the English understanding is given.
I attended my first class with the delight of a birthday party and a first date – nervous, excited, and embarrassed at my double lack of knowledge and graceful coordination. My instructor was charming, beautiful, welcoming, and fun. She made it look easy and complimented and corrected us as we began our learning. She repeated with patience, told us to relax, trust and watch her.
Since my friends had signed me up, all I knew was my teacher’s first name. Several stories our teacher shared in class made me curious. After class, I googled my teacher’s full name and discovered she was Miss Hawaii 1973 and has danced at one of Honolulu’s prominent hotels for 42 years. She’s been described as maybe ‘the most photographed Hawaiian hula dancer.’
Whoa! I’m learning from someone who knows and loves what she is teaching. I will never see a hula the same way. There is a story being told every time and you can see it.
Here’s another angle that’s been brought to my mind. It’s nothing anything you don’t already know. We have been invited to The Dance. The Master Teacher knew us before we knew His name. He is passionate about us, loving, patient and kind, whispering grace and truth. In this Dance, there is always something to learn, to practice, to be reminded of. We are part of The Story Jesus wants to tell. He wants us to dance in such a way that others are made curious. Jesus shows us the Way. He corrects us when we get things wrong. He tells us to trust Him and keep our eyes on Him. When we follow The Teacher then our hands and feet tell this beautiful Story. Jesus asks us today, “May I dance with you?”