We went to your baptism on Sunday, and I can honestly say that I’ve never been to a baptism quite like yours.
You couldn’t stop dancing. It was like a Jesus Dance Party with fireworks—all exploding in you. (Video at the end of this post.)
There was no music—at least that any of us could hear. But you must have heard the inaudible song, because your three-year-old self wouldn’t stop dancing. It made the rest of us yearn to hear what you were hearing, and to feel what you were feeling. And that’s what you did for us, Amazing Gracie. You made us feel again.
You were the music, and you helped us hear it, too.
You wouldn’t stop dancing. Not during the responsive readings. Or during Pastor Adam’s explanation of baptism. Or during the prayers.
You wouldn’t stop dancing until Adam was about to put water on your head. And then you stood on tip-toes, straining so you could see.
The only thing that stopped you in your tracks? Was grace.
We all stood still with you, in awe.
Later, your new friend Carlos Whitaker delivered a message, about letting God “blow your mind every single day.” It was a pretty awesome message, but I felt kind of sorry for Carlos, having to follow up a three-year-old’s mind-blowing interpretation of the gospel. 🙂
Carlos didn’t seem to mind.
Sweet Gracie, You moved us all. And you moved something inside of us all.
You showed us what it looks like to dance on the hem of glory.
Your little dance party was more than amusing. It was sacred. It was Gospel, leaping off the pages of our Bibles and landing upon your sandaled feet.
May you always dance, Gracie.
May you always live creativity. Teach everyone you meet how to hear the music, and how to make poetry with your whole self, unashamed.
It wouldn’t surprise me, if you feel the music under your ribs.
I hope you never forget what that feels like, because there will be days when the music is hard to hear. I pray that your soul never forgets what it knows right now.
You made people hope again, Gracie. There were people in that room who haven’t smiled for a long time, but you made them smile. That’s the power of a strong life-force like yours. That’s more powerful than any office you’ll sit in, any ladder you’ll climb, any Who’s Who list you land on.
I read something once about how Jesus invites us all to a dance every single day, but we have turned that dance into a rigid march. We’re always looking to the left or to the right, to see if we’re doing it right. We start forming lines. Legalism draws the dance out of us. And we carry on like soldiers instead.
Legalism will try to cram you into a tiny box. But keep living outside of the box, sweet girl. Keep making up your own moves. Never apologize for who you are. Live the dance.
Let us always be like David, who said it like this: “In God’s presence I’ll dance all I want! … Oh yes, I’ll dance to God’s glory—more recklessly even than this.”
I want to dance like you, Amazing Gracie. I want to dance, holy and undignified, because there will always be something that makes me not want to dance. There will always be something that tells me I don’t have time for dancing: tight deadlines, laundry piles, a fever, a conference call, a messy floor, a sick kid, the ring around the tub, hurt feelings, smashed-up pride, bad hair, rejection letters, whatever. Any of that can keep us from stepping onto God’s great dance floor.
But then we would miss it, wouldn’t we? Gracie, you taught us on Sunday morning how to not miss it.
Little lady — Thank you for showing us what it looks like to live in the mind-blowing grace of God, to kiss the floor with your feet, to do a cartwheel every day, to be the music you can’t hear, to dance the sacred dance,
and to be all you,
We love you, Gracie.
Video of Gracie’s Unforgettable Baptism
(Email subscribers, click here to view the video on my blog.)