Over the winter break, we saw The Nutcracker at the beautiful Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia. Ever since I was a nine-year old little girl going to this venue for the first time, I feel a bit elegant just being in this theater.
This visit was my daughter’s first time inside, and she loved the “fancy” everywhere she turned. In fact, it was hard to keep her watching the people packed all around because the architectural details captured her full attention.
When the ballet started, she was excited because the music was the same as The Nutcracker music we listen to at home. The dancing, the costumes, the sets all fully delighted her. More than once she leaned forward utterly engaged in the moment.
During the intermission we walked up some crowded stairs and her ballet slip on shoe fell off. An older man cinderellaed her shoe back on her feet, and we all smiled as thank you’s were given. Ironically a few minutes later, my girl bumped the same man as she pirouetted while we waited in line. He was nonplussed.
Jump with me a week and a bit. Yesterday we walked through the busiest airport in the world on our way home plus two more for a total of three airports in a day after waking up at 3 a.m. The art, the moving sidewalks, the flashing neon lights overhead, the bird sounds calling from aboriginal art, the variety of clothes, hairstyles, shops, pillows, balloons all drew her attention. But, the wheelchairs, beeping cars, running passengers all benefited from her selective inattention. Everything mesmerized her and kept her full attention except her safety and the personal space of other people.
The inattention to people while remaining hyperaware of the aesthetic environment reminded me of our Fox Theater intermission. In the airport, my underslept, overattentive to people self was growing weary of protecting/apologizing through the masses, my husband noted, “Well, at least she’s not anxious.” Haha! Not only did his observation amuse me, but it flipped my attitude. I could delight in her delight, let her point out things I was not attending to that were truly beautiful or fascinating or peculiar.
Celebrating delight, joining in the delight means we will bump into you when we’re out, and we’ll notice when you make something new, say something wise, dance with power. And your glorious expression may get copied. And while pirouetting through a crowded vestibule, you will get accidentally bumped. And really isn’t the highest compliment to a dancer a girl who wants to pirouette her way through a crowd after seeing your powerful, lovely dance. Why wasn’t everyone in the intermission twirling and bending and stretching?
Eons ago I participated in a choir that sang:
And the Father will dance over you in joy.
He will take delight in who He loves.
Is that a choir I hear,
singing the praises of God?
No, the Lord God Himself is exulting over you in song.
God rejoices over you.
God rejoices over you.
God rejoices over you in song.
Funny thing is I didn’t overly like the song at the time, but the words have been life giving to me. I can see God delighting in our dancing and awe of all that is good, beautiful, exciting, interesting, novel, expressive while we are trying to herd one another into what is acceptable, safe, and normal.
Come dance in delight and look in awe with me at the beautiful things the Lord is doing, and watch out, I’ll probably bump you.
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.