Faces on Faith: To sit it out or dance?
The evening of opera on the beach finally arrived and Ralph and I found a seat on the sand – anticipating beautiful song and sunset.
A balmy breeze was blowing, my folding chair shifted just a bit in the sand, the surf rolled in calmly and regularly, and the breezes had begun playing gently with the soprano’s long hair and gown.
A lone sailboat bobbed on the water in the distance as the captain put down the mainsail and prepared to anchor. And then the strains of music poured out as the sun met the horizon and two operatic voices sang their songs of love to the heavens above.
I thought I was prepared for the experience, but I clearly was not ready for the powerful feeling than enveloped me on that evening of arias.
Although I’ve been moved by the God-given voices of singers before, there was something quite extraordinary in hearing the gifted tones in the midst of sand, surf, sunset, wind, and the flames of torch fire illuminating it all – all of creation shouting out God’s glory.
Refrains of Psalm 19 came back to me: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows his handiwork. One day tells its tales to another, and one night imparts knowledge to another…their sound has gone out into all lands, and their message to the ends of the world…by them also is your servant enlightened.”
The scene before me was not a stage – separated from us as in an opera house – but instead, we were in the midst of it all, like a great cosmic dance of human voices and emotions intertwined with water, sand, fire and the heavens above.
All of it kept pulling me, inviting me, beckoning me to join the dance of creation, and a great sense of wellbeing suddenly consumed me. I was reminded that I am – we all are – a vital participant in this dance.
December is upon us and the new year not far behind. All of creation still beckons us to participate in its dance of life. All of creation invites us to begin anew as we discern new ways of peace – within our families and communities, and in our world.
All of creation awaits our moments of enlightenment that will discover ways out of hatred and fear and paths toward hope and peace. We are a vital participant in this dance of creation – the only ones with the minds, hearts and hands to chart a positive course before us.
As Lee Ann Womach’s song years ago asked us, “If you have the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you’ll dance.”
It IS our choice to dance – no matter how complicated the steps. God’s handiwork will only show forth glory if we take the first step forward.
-The Rev. Ellen Sloan