In those final weeks before my father’s death, I remember talking with him about our father-daughter dance at my wedding reception. That dance is among my most treasured memories.
That’s when he said it, though not as a complaint. Just a passing sadness.
“I don’t know why your mother would never say yes to dancing with me.”
A few months later, my father passed away and my mom grieved. She thought back to their many experiences and intimacies over the years – all the trips and pastorates and friends and memories. She sighed and said, “I wish I had told your dad I would dance with him. I don’t know why I never did.”
It would have been too painful for me to tell mom that dad had voiced something like that as well only weeks earlier.
But I knew why she didn’t say yes. It was a remnant, a final vestige, of her puritanical childhood.
No movies. No French fries. No sleeveless tops. No playing cards. And no dancing.
Not even with your husband.
Over the years, mom had lost almost every taboo, except dancing. She had experienced every marital intimacy, given birth to his three children, listened to every sermon he preached, edited every college paper he wrote, listened to every confidence he shared – but she simply couldn’t say yes to this one simple thing.
A dance between a groom and his bride.
How sad, you might say. But I think most of us are guilty of this.
As members of the Bride of Christ, Jesus invites each of us to dare to dance.
To do something that others may not understand.
To give ourselves with abandon to the lover of our souls.
To take the dance floor – following him somewhere really exciting, or dangerous or far off.
To slip our hand in his and let him lead – any way he chooses.
To take the risk of stepping on his toes – and disappointing him with our lack of finesse.
To abandon our fear of what others might think.
To enter the dance as never before.
This is the moment for a bride’s gentle, perhaps shy, yes.
A life without regret.
His hand is stretched out right now. Where might the dance floor take you?