Trust in Him

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Dance

For those who love Him, and after each fault come to ask pardon by throwing themselves into His arms, Jesus trembles with joy. (St. Therese of the Child Jesus)

Someone I respect very much always refers to our relationship with Christ as a dance. I find myself fascinated by this metaphor and, while this post may not be overflowing with practical, educational advice... I want to describe my thoughts on this dance to you briefly. Perhaps you also will come to understand your relationship with Christ this way. Because this is a very personal and intimate subject, I will use "I" in place of my usual "we"... but know that I speak of something that applies to you also.

Jesus, the Bridegroom, takes me by the hand. He guides me to the floor, and leads the dance. I, delicate and easy as the bride in the hands of the Bridegroom, move as He directs. Our music is the beat of each others' heart... with a gentle impulse Jesus wishes, and with a smooth intuition I respond, barely needing the precious whisper of the Bridegroom to guide my steps. My Jesus does not break the silence with the sound of His voice, but causes me to discern His will with only the silent urgings of His smile.

I, in my sad negligence, allow my eyes to fall from the gaze of those of my Beloved. Perhaps I attempt to lead, or lose my step and fall away from His guiding hands, but I am lost and unsteady. I run into walls, trip over my own wandering feet, and finally fall into the arms of another. This person is not the Beloved, and he takes me in a bizarre jig across the floor, tiring me and coercing me away from the beautiful dance I loved. My life is empty, and full of fear... I miss the love of the Beloved, but feel I am in a cage.

Meanwhile the Bridegroom cries out for me. His dance is no longer complete, nor is a dance of love, since I am not in His arms. He runs after me, trying to return me to His embrace. Earnestly He beseeches me with loving eyes... then He sees me fall into the arms of another. His heart cries out, His face strains, and all He can think about is the love He has for His bride.

Hearing His cry, and finding my heart languishing, I fly into His arms. The steps of the dance, so impossible without the guidance of the Beloved, become simple as once again His hands hold mine. Rejoicing in my renewed faith, we fly over the floor again in quick, graceful, and perfect movements. Like doves in the sky we dance. Our dance is not like any other, for it lasts through work and play. Always I do the will of the Beloved, and always His ear is attentive to my voice. We dance in the meadow, and through the thorns, and in the gravel path. Around us is noise, or music, or silence... but always it is the Bridegroom's whispers that fill the ear in the soul of the bride.

I am not a good dancer, and this very need is at the heart of our steps. For I need the Beloved, and the Beloved has chosen to need me, and thus we are a couple: two hearts joined into one. In my weakness and poverty of spirit He loves me, for it is this weakness that is lovable in the bride. For my courageous attempts at love and my careful work He loves me, for it is this strength that is lovable in the bride. I love Him for His powerful hand and tender guidance, and trust Him entirely with myself and all I do. He, in turn, makes my imperfections perfect and transforms my slovenly work into beauty. Our hearts are joined in love for each other and the world, and our hands are joined in work for the salvation of souls and the pleasure of each other.

The Song of the Bride

I heard the voice of the Beloved, and I knew Him.
Never had I seen His face,
yet His voice was as memorable as my mother's touch.

I danced then in dirt and squalor,
with those who claimed to love.
The touch of the Bridegroom drew me out
into clearness and beauty.

I heard the voice of the Beloved, and I knew Him.
Never had I felt His hand,
Yet His touch was as familiar as the morning breeze.

They filled my eyes with smoke,
and my mouth with vinegar.
The Bridegroom washed my eyes,
and gave me a chalice of good wine.

I heard the voice of the Beloved, and I knew Him
.
Never had I heard His step,
Yet it was as familiar to me as the waves of the sea.

They dressed me in unwholesome clothes,
and laid their hands upon my arms.
The Beloved adorned me with a lovely gown,
and gently kissed my cheek.

I heard the voice of the Beloved, and I knew Him,
Never had I known His smile,
Yet it was as familiar to me as the rising sun.

They made me, as with a leash,
to walk with them day and night.
The Bridegroom set me free,
and our dance is smooth and fresh.

I heard the voice of the Beloved, and I knew Him,
Never had I gazed into His eyes,
Yet they were as familiar to me as the stars.

They ordered fear into my heart,
and I cringed in a cage.
The Beloved whispered,
and by His voice I was consoled.

In fields of flowers we dance, through thorns we move unalarmed,
By our love we are united in one unending bond.
The Beloved draws me away, and I come freely,
For I heard His voice, and I knew Him,
and am wooed by His love.

2 comments:

  1. Sadie,
    This is so beautiful. I love the poem. I read a book by Ken Gire called The Divine Embrace which in which he also describes our relationship with Christ as a dance.
    Thank you for sharing this and God Bless!

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  2. Thank You :). Every once in awhile I write a poem or prose that I really like... this is one of them. God bless!

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