Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Here in This Place I Learned to Dance

We are near the end of our fourth year overseas.  I would say it has been the hardest and most stretching four years of my life but also the most rewarding.  On one side, you see the beggars and the run down buildings and your heart aches.  On other side, you see educated young people thriving at their job and the bazaar turning into stores instead of stalls.  On one side you hear people call you foreigner as if it is dirty word and you hurt because they don't know really know you.  On the other side, you have parents thanking you for teaching their children and giving them hope for the future and in this moment you know it is all worth it.  You see the dusty streets but you see the roses that love to bloom in this land.  You see the poverty but are amazed by the hospitality of this people.  You learn to live with lockdowns and wearing long sleeves in summer.  You somehow manage to communicate with what language you have.  You make friends and drink many cups of tea.  You laugh, cry and celebrate.  You wonder if the school will be here next year or if we will ever have to leave due to security or not being able to do the work we need to do.  You prefer the national dish to McDonalds.  You find that this land has stolen your heart which in and of itself is an answer to prayer.

It is here that I learned to dance.  I learned that it is okay to dance at a friend's wedding even though it would not be perfect.  It would be a gift.   I might look silly but all they cared about was that I tried.   I learned to kick back and laugh as I learned to dance some Irish dances.   Exhausted and out of breath, we danced to release stress and celebrate the culture of our friends.   Lastly I learned to dance as I worshipped.  At home, I would find myself dancing to the worship music coming from my iPod.  There were times when I had tears coming down my eyes as I poured out my heart.  Other times, it was with pure adoration and wonder.  Worshipping here is an act of defiance.  It is saying to the enemy this is where you stop.  It is waiting in anticipation of what God can and will do one day in this land.  It is celebrating in hope.  Worship is surrender and knowing I can't do this without God.  Worship is trusting in a God who is sovereign yet his ways are not like ours.  Worship is saying yes when we really want to say no.  Lastly worship is saying God you are holy and I am not.  Use me even in my brokenness.

May you dance where ever God has you.  TJ

2 comments:

Nancy said...

I love this! Thank you for daring, then for sharing. Your post encouraged me to let myself "learn to dance" not just literally but also spiritually and emotionally. Love you, friend!

Chris and Julie Medley said...

What a beautiful summary of how your heart has grown these four years! God is faithful to answer our prayers!
Love you!
JM