Saturday, October 1, 2016

Sunlight, Moonlight

Photo by Michael Clarke Stuff 2012

About 18 months ago my husband Richard and I were featured performers at the Coliseum, the beautiful ballroom at which the dance scenes in the movie “Cocoon” were filmed. Because of a scheduling mixup, we arrived at the venue about two hours earlier than we needed to be there. After we had admired the recent renovations and dramatic new lighting, chatted with the event organizers, laid out our costumes and props, warmed up, and prayed, I grew restless and impatient to perform. Patience is not one of my virtues!

I found myself wondering, “God, why did you bring us here so early? Surely I could have put this time to better use working on my medical writing assignments, paying bills, or preparing next week’s blog or Sunday school lesson. We know that the time is short, and you don’t want us to waste it!”

Just then I recognized a song playing over the loudspeaker as patrons took the floor for general dancing. I hadn’t heard it for years -- it was an instrumental version of “Sun and Moon,” from the musical “Miss Saigon.” I felt God gently prompting me, “This is why you are here early. Write Christian lyrics to this song, and choreograph to it for your next dance ministry piece.”

Humbled and ashamed that I had doubted Him, I quickly answered in my heart, “Yes, Lord.” My mind began to drift to possible lyrics, theme and choreography, when I felt His firm suggestion: “One more thing – use a hoop.”

“A hoop??? You mean a hoop skirt?”

“No, a hoop.” This final thought was so emphatic that I could not dare to disagree, only to ponder how a hoop could possibly be incorporated into a dance by two people doing lifts that are challenging enough on their own, let alone while trying to balance a hoop or pass it back and forth.

I told Richard and he just laughed – nervously, though, for he knew from experience that I would not be easily dissuaded.

With much prayer, trial and error, a few minor injuries, and many bruises and scrapes, the new dance began to take shape, hoop and all, by God’s grace and Holy Spirit inspiration. The theme would be that Jesus Christ is the Light of Heaven, reflecting His light on the believer, who in turn radiates it to the world. To express this theme, the dance would use the symbolism of the sun being the source of light on this planet, and the moon passively reflecting the sun’s rays to illuminate the earth during the darkness of night (Genesis 1:3-5; 14-18).

God is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). He saved us by His grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) through our faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way to Heaven (John 14:6), freeing us from the darkness of our sins (Jeremiah 13:16) to the holy light of His perfect righteousness (Isaiah 50:10; John 3:21; Acts 26:18).

Once we are clothed in His holiness (Job 29:14; Psalm 132:9; Isaiah 61:10), His light can reflect from Him to us, radiating from us so that others can see Him through us. He is the Light of the world (John 1:9; 8:12; 9:5; 11:9; 12:46), and by this process, we are also the light of the world (Matthew 5:14; Philippians 2:15), reflecting His love, truth and holiness to the lost, dark world (John 3:19).

We have no source of light on our own merits, for our self-righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Rather, we are like an empty vessel or unlit candle (Psalm 18:28) through which His light can burn brightly and illuminate others with His truth (2 Corinthians 4:4-6). If we cease to revolve around Him, and block His light from reaching us because of sins and weights (Hebrews 12:1) that deflect His radiance, we can no longer light the world.

Based on the lyrics and choreography of our dance, the hoop, which in our first practices was a hula hoop, would at times represent the sun, the moon, the light, or the orbit of the moon around the sun. We soon realized it would be far more effective if we could use the hoop as a connection between us and to bear my weight in some of the lifts, rather than just gesturing with it or handing it back and forth.

But we learned quickly that a standard hula hoop is not strong enough for that (even reinforced with duct tape!) and that most sturdier hoops would be too heavy to carry in one outstretched arm.

In His faithfulness and foresight, God had prearranged the solution to these problems. It turned out that a specialty studio involved in hoop design was located right in our neighborhood – who knew?? Clearly God did! I also began weight lifting so that I could more gracefully handle the modified hoop, which weighs about seven pounds.

Despite my training since childhood as a ballet dancer, and our joint experience in ballroom and adagio dancing, neither of us had any acrobatic or gymnastic experience involving any type of apparatus. This is not the sort of experiment one ordinarily attempts for the first time at older ages! But God in His faithfulness (Psalm 89:8; 1 Corinthians 1:9) guided us through all of that as well. Since we have added this dance to our repertoire, I have often joked that now I want to run away and join the circus!

When God calls us to a particular assignment, we need not question our lack of ability, experience, or resources needed to complete the task, for if we obey, He will provide! (Philippians 4:19) He used Moses, a stammerer, to deliver eloquent oratory to Pharaoh to let God’s people go (Exodus 4:10-12). He used David, a shepherd boy who had never been to battle, to slay the giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17:39-50). He used Noah, whose preaching skills won no converts beyond his own family (Genesis 7:7), to repopulate the earth and his descendants to give rise to different races (Genesis 9:1, 18-19).

Joshua realized that age was no barrier when God promised him a great land even though He had just reminded him that he was “old and stricken in years” (Joshua 13:1). God answered Abraham and Sarah’s prayers for a child when they were both ancient, and after more than a two decade wait since He had first promised (Genesis 18:10-12) that their child would give rise to a great nation!

God does not look for our ability, but our availability to fulfill His perfect plan for our lives. May we listen for His still, small voice (1 Kings 19:12), quickly obey, and trust Him to equip us for His battle and make a way to complete His mission! May we be His light in the world until that day when neither sun nor moon are needed, for His glory alone (Isaiah 60:19; Revelation 21:23; 22:5) will illuminate the new heavens and new earth!

© 2016 Laurie Collett

Womanhood With Purpose
Adorned From Above
No Ordinary Blog Hop


Donald Fishgrab said...

It is so important that we simply trust God and obey him when he asks. He always knows what he wants and how to make it happen.

Laurie Collett said...

Donald, if you only the knew the perfect timing of your comment! God bless.

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
After reading the blog itself, I thoroughly enjoyed the video of you and Richard performing such a professional dance with that hoop. And I am not surprised at all at the applause from the audience.
As for the text, yes, we are lights of the world, a privilege granted to all believers by the grace of God. And as with this wonderful truth, just as Jesus called himself the Light of the World (John 8:12) - he also called us lights of the world (Matthew 5:14) - demonstrating the righteousness of Christ imputed into our accounts, resulting in us in him and he in us.
An excellent post and video. God bless.

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
Thank you so much for your encouraging words about the dance and blog posts. Praise God that He is the Light of the world, and that through Him, we are lights of the world, for His righteousness shines through us.
Hope you had a wonderful vacation! God bless,