My recent mission trip to minister to at-risk and special needs teens in Guatemala gave me a whole new aspiration for heaven. I look forward to the day that I will meet my new friend Marta again. I’m almost positive I will be able to find her; I’ll just go to where there is dancing.
Marta has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk, talk or feed herself, but shecan dance—with a little help. She can also smile and enjoy life from theprison of her body and the confines of the orphanage. Of all the people I metshe impacted me the most and she taught me so much about how to live. Marta isalways kind and smiles and laughs all day long. When she gets frustrated witha task, she laughs rather than cries. I told everybody that I want to be morelike Marta.
I don’t think I will ever think about dancing the same way again. SinceI was a teenager in the disco seventies, my dancing days have long been over.While we were there, we took part in a Quinceanera party, and the orphanage hireda band. Marta was brought over and seated away from the area where the girlswere dancing. Just before she had to leave for lunch, I sat by her and we swayedto the music like we were dancing. I asked her if she wanted to be held up todance, and she enthusiastically nodded “yes”. By that time the workerssaid she had to leave to eat lunch, and I promised to come and dance after sheate.
The place she was eating was away from the music, so I asked my friends to singfor us while we danced. I thought she understood that I had come to dance withher and then we sat down. Each time the door was unlocked to the building wherethe party and music were, her whole body tensed with excitement and she wouldnot let go of my hand. I knew that she wanted to go to the dance floor to dance.She smiled at my efforts to dance to self-made music, but this girl wanted todance—really dance. My heart was sinking because I didn’tknow if she would be permitted to go back over. God provided, and we walked herover to the dance floor where she and I could finally dance to the music blaring.She put her arms around my waist and I held her up and we swayed in place smilingand laughing song after song. She didn’t seem to mind that she could nottwirl around like the others; she was perfectly content to dance the way shewas able. I prayed for her as we danced and asked God to give me the strengthto fulfill her desire to dance. I kept asking if she was finished, and each timeshe would indicate “no”. After about an hour, my friend came to force her to dance with someone else, and we realized how hot she was and convinced her to have some milk and cake before she danced some more.
In 2 Samuel 6:14, “David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lordwith all his might.” I can’t wait to watch Marta in heaven, freeof the confines of her earthly body and the limits of an orphanage—findher one true home and true delight in dancing before the Lord like David, withall her might.
When is the last time you danced in your soul before the Lord? How do you delightin God in spite of all the things that are not quite right yet? Why don’tyou dance a little today and think of Marta? She can dance in spite of all herchallenges and so can we.
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