I sit in the the room against the wall. The teacher calls out the moves and counts. I am clueless, but my girl is not. She knows what each French phrase means. This has been her life for years. He calls the steps – the room listens and executes. Like clockwork.
The teacher, Joe, commands the stage as he walks back and forth, mic in hand, directing the class…jump, turn, plié. The music stops and starts as groups change and the dancers begin again. And again. Each time expected to be better.
Lyrics…make believe people can fly. Dancers…leap into the air. Storytellers – that’s what they are.
The music stops. Joe asks for attention. He wants them to understand the song. The words. We can’t feel what we don’t understand (truth, huh?). Do not get caught up in the steps. Feel and dance the lyrics – the music.
I’d been scrolling Facebook, but Joe has my attention. His body language and voice change. And I know…he believes what he’s saying. He believes in my daughter and the over 200 others. He truly loves dance, feels it’s art, and wants others to embrace it as expression, storytelling.
That’s conviction speaking.
Portray the music in the movement he tells them. Motions? Steps? They’re no fun to watch. Those who feel the music and portray it in movement? That’s a joy to watch, and they make me feel it too.
Joe begins the story told through lyrics…there’s a giant in all of us. We let the presence or words of others dictate who we are. We let our inner voices take over, making us hard on ourselves. Don’t allow that; be a giant – confident in who you are and where you are. Not where your neighbor is, but where YOU ARE. Be a dreamer – a giant.
He goes on, but I lose him as I look across the room. I wonder at the story of each teen. As a women I often struggle with comparing and poor inner dialogue. I am betting these girls struggle with the I am not good enough –less than – inferior. And Joe knows it. He’s not just teaching dance.
He tells the story of “Giants” by Matt Nathanson – their song. I am captivated by his speech – or sermon – because it’s filled with Jesus whether he knows it or not. I don’t get all he says, so I Google the song…
I don’t want to see the wires in the circus anymore
I wanna dream and make believe people can fly
I don’t need to be reminded what it takes to kill the fun
I got a head full of sharp knives
Don’t look up at the wires. Don’t look down at them. Confidently walk across, chin up. Dream – outrageous people-can-fly dreams. Don’t be so hard on yourself. See you as God sees you. Don’t take those sharp, harsh thoughts that others and culture have laid down in your brain and live out of them. Be who He says you are.
The world don’t speak for us. They lack the confidence
Yeah, we’re only hearts and bones and blood.
But we are giant. Giants
Friend, do not allow the world and this culture to speak for you or tell you who you are. Let Jesus tell you. Define you. Call you. You don’t need self-confidence; you need God-confidence – confidence in who HE IS and who he fearfully and wonderfully made you to be. You’re heart. Bones. Blood – his creation, made in his image for His purpose. And when the Spirit breathes life into you? You’re heart, blood, and bones that can change the world.
You are a GIANT. Not because you’re awesome, but because HE IS. And you’re not a giant who towers over others. No, that’s not his way. You’re a giant who stands tall on His behalf, walking where others won’t or can’t.
Everybody’s scared of things that they don’t understand
And all the living they don’t do.
Isn’t this so true? We have the fear of missing out – the fear of not being enough – the fear of all the living we DO NOT do. We fear refugees and poverty. We fear political systems that “seem” unfair. We fear other races and other belief systems. The unknown. Presidential elections. The future. All the things we don’t fully understand.
We’re more than what scares us
We’re final and fearless
We’ll dance where the ice gets thin
What scares you? What do you fear? You’re more than that, friend. HE IS MORE! He says fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10) Live brave. Be wise, but stand up tall and dance on thin ice. Walk in your call – even when it seems scary. Maybe even crazy. It’s never too big for God. He doesn’t call the qualified; he qualifies the called.
Be a giant. Allow God to make you a giant for him. Find the giant inside that Jesus is calling you to be. Stand tall, pull up your chin, look the world in the eye. And begin.
As I ponder this odd song, God reminds me of the woman at the well. She comes to the well when she knows no other women will be there. She doen’t want to interact because of her shame. Her living situation. She feels less than, inferior. She listens to the culture. But, Jesus offers her himself – living water. A new life. He calls out the giant he made her to be. To leave her jar at the well and run back to tell the village of Him. To be brave because of Him – of what he’s done. Hopeless? Shameful? No more. She runs to tell of him.
She’s such a giant! No longer running away, but running toward.
Friends, the same Jesus who approached the outcast woman at the well wants to walk with you. He wants to pull your chin up, look you in the eye, and say….you are not what they say you are. And if you are, I offer you new life. He wants to say, remove the replay of past voices; hear my voice only.
He’s offering to make you a giant for him. Instead of carrying a small jug, he’s offering an entire well that never runs dry.
I look back at the dance floor. My eyes are drawn to those who feel and dance the story. Joe’s “sermon” has changed many of them.
And aren’t those the people we are most drawn to? The ones who feel the music – live the words, His Word? Those whose lives aren’t a series of motions, but a symphony of the Spirit, living through them.
I want my Hannah to be that. I want to be that. A living and breathing Giant for Jesus. Telling his story – and living ours well. Keeping our eyes fixed on Him, the author and perfector of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2)
Thank you, Joe, for teaching this dance mom. I don’t think you set out to preach, but I wanted to yell Amen.
And, girls? Live like there’s a giant inside – because there is – and his name is Jesus.
(Just a side note…Jesus is teaching me to LISTEN everywhere I go. A dance teacher. A “secular” song. I’d never have listened a few years ago. What could they offer me? (pride, arrogance, dumb). Jesus can and will teach us anywhere because he’s everywhere. Where are you seeing him today?)