Sunday, March 3, 2013

When You Fall Down . . .

     There I was, dancing on stage in the Philippines to the majestic sounds of music as the Holy Spirit led me. Worshiping God, whether dancing or prayer, I always close my eyes. Twirling a lavender scarf as I danced, I suddenly got "that feeling" to open my eyes to see where I was.
     One more step and I would have fallen off the stage! But God was watching over me. Calmly, I turned, closed my eyes again in worship, and continued dancing.  
     Next the unthinkable happened! One second I was dancing in worship, the next second I was sitting on the stage floor thinking, "What happened?! This has never happened before!"
     With nothing on stage to hinder or trip me, I had fallen!

      To a ballerina, there is only one thing worse than falling, and this is to stop altogether. In all my dance training, one special thought had been drilled into me: “If anything happens, do not stop. Get up and finish.”  
     So, gracefully rising to my feet, I got up and kept dancing for the Lord I love. 
     Taking my seat afterwards, I asked the Lord, “Why did this happen!? In all my life, I have never fallen in a dance production!” 
     Then deep in my soul, I felt God answer, “Do you really want Me to take over your life? Even if I allow you to be embarrassed?” 
     My mind's voice cry out, “Yes, Lord! Yes!”
     But my question still wasn't answered.
     I had started ballet lessons at five years old and loved it. My passion grew. My talent was truly a gift from God. I continued classes until junior high, when my parents could no longer afford it. I could reminisce forever about the dances, the colorful costumes, the lights, etc. If I never excelled at anything else, I would always know, I could dance!
     By now, at age 58, I hadn't taken a ballet lesson in years. On occasion I would spontaneously break into dance privately at home. With no choreography, I just let the Holy Spirit lead me in a dance of worship. 
     I had come to the Philippines on a Christian Mission trip in 2007. I was to give four speaking presentations. On the last evening of our mission conference, our leader asked if I would like to dance in the Spirit to Christian music after her next presentation.   
     Without hesitation, I said “Yes!” 
      I had prayed, giving the dance all over to the Lord, asking the Holy Spirit to totally take over for me. Before I knew it, I was dancing . . . but then unexpectedly falling! 
     To end the conference, each of us speakers was supposed to summarize her presentations. I approached the microphone and gave a summary of the classes I had presented. Then grinning at the audience, I said what I felt the Lord told me to say:
     “If you ever fall down in life, get back up and keep dancing!” 
     To my surprise, laughter and clapping broke out. 
     We went home satisfied that many had been blessed, but I still wondered why I had fallen.
     Weeks later, we heard from the head pastor in the Philippines. He said that of all the presentations, the best part was at the end when I said, “If you fall down in life, get up and keep dancing.”
     He explained that in the Philippines there is a serious problem with people afraid to “lose face.” They avoid new things if there is the slightest risk of making a mistake. But this prevents them from many opportunities.
      The pastor explained that the people were blessed by seeing me fall and then get up and keep going (without losing face), and then later hearing me tell them to do the same.  
     When I heard this, a thousand thoughts rushed in. 
     “Lord, is this what this trip, the dancing and falling was all about? Did You use me as Your instrument to reach these beautiful people? Is it possible that You set this plan in motion years ago, when I was just five years old?”                                            

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, 
neither are your ways My ways,
declares the LORD.
Isaiah 55:8 NIV
Jackie Christian, author
Retired Counselor
Beaverton, Oregon

1 comment:

  1. Awesome testimony of how God can use everything for His glory.