A Graceful Heart
I am not a dancer. When I was little, I really wanted to dance. The little town I grew up in (as far as I know) didn’t even offer classes. I had to take gymnastics instead. I’m not sure I would have been a very good ballerina, but to this day I still love to watch dancers dance and wonder about “could have beens.”
I think what I really love about dancing is how beautiful it is to see ballerinas glide effortlessly across the floor. They give definition to the accompanying music, filling multiple senses at the same time. Extending every part of their bodies, leaping higher and higher, it is a beautiful sight to behold. Gracefulness defined on a stage.
The reality of ballet is that a dancer’s feet take a real beating. Within those pink satin toe shoes are ugly, painful, sometimes bloody feet. Professional dancers end up with blisters and bunions, calluses and corns, torn up nails… Their feet ache at the end of their eight-hour rehearsal days most days of the week. But it doesn’t stop them from dancing. In fact, they will choose not to repair most damage as it offers some protection. Sore, ugly feet are part of the life of being a dancer.
In our lives, we have an innate desire to be graceful, as well as expect the same from others. This is not related to physical gracefulness, although that is also something I desire. Our words and actions and emotions should carry a gracefulness also.
In the real world, things happen. We get crushed by the graceless words or actions of a friend. We are tempted to return the favor. We are taunted and it bruises our soul. We feel pushed beyond our emotional limits. When these things come, we have a tendency to complain, or maybe run away from whatever causes the pain. And we forget to keep walking in grace.
How can we be graceful in those situations? Through “Eucharisteo,” or “to give thanks.” The beauty of this word is that the middle voice is “charis,” meaning “grace.” And the secret (found in the word origin) is “chairo,” “JOY.” A lovely thought that if we can become mindful of the favors the Lord has given us (in every situation,) then we will be filled with joy and grace.
It is not easy to walk in thankfulness when you are being hurt. And honestly, I’m not talking about being thankful for those things that are hurting you. I am encouraging you to be thankful for the small, good things you can find in every situation. As we begin to do this, it becomes easier to walk gracefully through the situations we are in.
“We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9, 15 NKJV)
Some things we go through may be painful, it may not look pretty, it may leave sores and ugly marks, but we can still dance, because it’s just part of life. And when we make that decision, to be thankful in everything, that grace makes it easier to dance (not just walk!) in our lives.
“How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
‘Your God reigns!’” (Isaiah 52:7, NKJV)