A Summer Night Dance

On a breezy summer evening, I find a spot to watch them. A full orchestra has come together for a free concert outdoors.

In the midst of concrete sidewalks, restaurants, and the expansive town center/shopping mall around this stage area, I find a section of green grass. I pull out my camping chair and sink down, slipping into the menagerie of people already trickling in, looking forward to drown in a musical evening.

The sound of tuning instruments begins to fill a space in the air above the soft noise of the crowd. More people gather on and around the green.

Jazz, big band, a waltz, a symphony movement, opera, gospel, hymns… I hear it all. Excellent vocalists, interpretive dancers, and even an artist creating a painting add extra dimensions to the music.

I let the music minister to me… Give Me Jesus…Vilia… Battle Hymn of the Republic… Amazing Grace… Blue Danube… Slavonic Dance by Dvorak… Prayer for Taylor…Gloria… and many more… nearly twenty pieces ring different tones of life.

The vocalists are outstanding. The orchestra is superb—a mixture of professionals and amateurs. I listen to the deep cellos, the singing violins, the chiming flutes, the calling trumpets, the droplets of the harp, and how all the voices blend together into one symphonic piece after piece, each individual knowing when to join in or stop, and I am in love with it all.

A few feet sway or tap, heads nod, people smile, and at the end of each piece the applause reflects the appreciation of the crowd. I soak it in and my heart dances. But it’s the little children who teach me something.

The young children dance.

Uninhibited, oblivious to the crowd watching them and smiling, they dance…right smack in front of the crowd, just below the orchestra stage. The eyes of the musicians, singers and spectators sparkle with delight. Tears well in my eyes because of the music, the applause, and when the children dance.

The children have no fear of what others will think, or wonder if anyone else is doing it, too. The children dance together, or alone. They swing, sway, leap, hop, letting the music direct their movements. What a joy to watch… and for a few moments, I wish to be a child and be able to join them!

Could it be that when we grow up, we forget how to be brave enough to actually be the first one to dance? Perhaps that uninhibited dancing part of us was already grown-up as a child and we need to go back and learn that part of it all over again… at least, maybe I do.

Maybe … it’s kind of like faith, too. Maybe I knew how to trust better as a child than I do now. Maybe I need to learn some things all over again.

If I could sit and listen to music like this on many more summer nights, I’d have a delightful bit of summer indeed. But if I could dance along uninhibited… oh, then– I would be living life as full as those little kids with a factor of fun and joy and freedom as high as the clouds.


What about you? Are you being called to dance, to step out, to create something? What is God breathing into you?


Sharing over at The High Calling as part of the Breath for the Bones book study   and with Laura at The Wellspring
Sharing with L.L. Barkat at On, In and Around Mondays
Sharing with Jen and the Soli Deo Gloria sisters



12 thoughts on “A Summer Night Dance

  1. Children are oblivious as to who is watching and they allow their emotions and their inward heart beat to respond to the call of the music. When God’s spirit musically calls to us we should be free spirited enough to dance before Him. And if we are too inhibited, at least we can dance before the lord in our home! Thanks for the wonderful post!

  2. *Love*

    There is nothing like an outdoor symphony performance. Being under God’s canopy and listening to a little bit of heaven! This sounds so lovely and makes me wish for a performance soon in our neighborhood! Definitely a beautiful marriage of faith and art going on.

  3. Beautiful! Your piece reminds me of the last time A. and I went to the Arboretum. There was a concert in the natural amphitheater area, and every child there was dancing. I wished I were that brave, but none of the adults were moving except occasionally to clap along.

    Just last week at church, all the children present seemed to be doing sign language (which turned into a lot of dancing and jumping around, too) to one of the songs. Some of the grown-ups were annoyed. Not very reverent, I guess. But I thought it was delightful. They were praising God in the way they knew, and probably better than I because they had forgotten themselves in the song.

    God bless you this week, friend!

  4. Hi Anna! I first thought the concert would be taking place somewhere in that lush canopy in the the picture; but a human orchestra it was. This sounds breathtaking and I’m so positive the Lord was smiling at His dancing children, and perhaps had His hand stretched out to some others who didn’t…but wished they were brave enough, young enough, silly enough.

    I liked your question about what God is calling us to do, to step out and be like a child again in some area. I need to start with faith, myself. “Let faith arise” was sung in my church yesterday, and I knew I was being called to more of it.

  5. I really enjoyed this! And I think your post encompasses both of today’s topics from Luci’s book – metaphor and story. I do love the metaphor of dance as a way of living life. To me it’s not only happy but carries a little edge of the dangerous and forbidden — perhaps because I wasn’t allowed to dance when I was a kid!

  6. Maybe I should view my new speaking thing in light of the children dancing. Perhaps, dancing for an audience of one…my Jesus.

  7. Clicked over from the link-up…always late to the party.

    This is really strong writing. You transported me right there with you. This summer our city lost funding for the little outdoor concerts they have done forever…sure miss those summer nights.

  8. This was so beautiful-that night sounds like it was great. Where am I being called to dance? With speaking/teaching and going back to school. Speaking/teaching women is my passion, something that I love. May I be unihibited in stepping out and listening to God.

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