I love to dance! The only opportunity to be on a dance floor with others is the occasional wedding I attend. And when my daughters are with me, we’re out there together, singing the songs and dancing along…having a blast.
So when I saw a disco dance party happening at a familiar venue nearby, I let my daughters and friends know about it and said, “I’m going to this disco dance party!” I just knew someone would join me, but when the night came no one could make it.
“I’ll go anyway,” I thought. But I was tired from the work week and talked myself out of it. Then a notification dinged my phone to remind me of the disco dance party. I really wanted to go but was nervous about going alone. Not because I felt unsafe, but because I’d never been to a disco dance party alone. I’d never been to a disco dance party at all! The teenage dances my friends and I went to in high school don’t count. We were moving to Madonna and Janet Jackson – not disco.
I began getting ready hoping to stir up some courage and it worked. Then I lost the courage, got some of it back, and lost it again.
I thought, “I’m a grown woman who wants to go dancing! Go dancing, already! I can always leave if it’s not for me.” Three hours later I was on my way home tapping my fingers on the steering wheel, singing with the song on the radio, with a heart full of surprise and joy. Surprised at myself and surprised at the fun.
I met three beautiful ladies who shared their table with me, and another one who was there with her daughter and daughter-in-law. I only got the names of a few of the people I met and will probably never see any of them again. That’s okay. I had a blast at a dance venue full of strangers and it was beautiful.
The joy was abundant for a lot of reasons. Everyone was kind and welcoming. The diverse group of people added to the joy. From Boomers to Gen Z and a mix of ethnicities. We didn’t know each others’ occupations, family life, religion, economic status, background, or sexual orientation. We only knew of each other what we could see.
But the joy we shared on the dance floor was palpable. The high point for me was during Kool and The Gang’s Celebration. We sang in unison as we danced to the beat. “Celebrate good times! Come on!” The DJ silenced the music so that the voice of the crowd shouting “Come on!” was heard over everything else. He did this throughout the song and the crowd loved it!
Now That I Think About It
As the crowd sang and laughed and danced together, I thought about Jesus. More and more, when I’m having fun…Jesus comes to mind. He delights in our joy and desires it for us (John 15:11, Galatians 5: 22-23).
Anyway, the disco dance party and its resulting joy made me ponder these stories about Jesus and ones told by him.
- When Matthew hosted a great banquet for Jesus and the Pharisees and scribes were complaining about it (Luke 5:27:32)
- The Wedding at Cana (John 2:1-12)
- When Jesus prayed for us to be one (John 17)
- The parable of the wedding feast (Matt 22:1-14)
- Jesus telling his disciples to let the children come to him (Mark 9:13-16)
- Four friends carrying their friend through a crowd to Jesus (Mark 2:1:11)
Read for yourself and see if you make the same connection. Either way, I’d love to hear from you. Which of these stories is your favorite? When is the last time you were surprised by joy?
“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it, can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let us not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy. It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.”Henri Nouwen in Bread for the Journey