I'm a firm believer that sometimes as humans we need to process things from the outside in rather than from the inside out. Sometimes I wonder if that's why we ended up with flesh and blood rather just little whispy souls floating across the Earth. We experience life with our hands, feet, noses, mouths, eyes, ears, and stomachs. It's marvelous what a hand of a good friend on your shoulder can do to bring you comfort. Or a good meal that centers you and draws you back to the Earth from which it came.
This is why we raise throw our hands in the air at sporting events, do the moonwalk, and cross ourselves. As I've been exploring the Episcopal Church, I've come appreciate that they're apt to incorporate bodily language into worship just as much as Charismatics. It's normally much more structured, but it's something that is present, nonetheless. There's part of me that really believes in the unpredictibilaty and power of the Spirit of God. That's why I fell in love with the Charismatic stream of the Church. I love raising my hands in worship. I love kneeling, though it hurts my knees, and the carpet always seems to creates an imprint that leaves me with an oddly textured leg.
The past few weeks have been relatively high-stress for me, but I've tried to stay as active as possible. Last night as I was running, I listened to Colplay for a while and then turned it on shuffle. "God's Great Dance Floor" came on. My critical, jaded self pulled a cigar out of her mouth and said "it's a pop-y worship song with corny lyrics that aid in the creation of emotional manipulation in churches." My childlike, church camp loving self leapt up and said "here it comes. You're about to dance. You're going to lose your freaking mind and cut loose." When it came time for the bridge I started spinning and jumping around sloppily in the middle of the cross city trail. I probably looked cracked out, making my way back to the dorm after a late night Cook Out run.
The words I attempted to sing in between breaths were just as true to me then as they were two years ago at the Passion Conference. I remember during the same song I managed to fling off my winter coat into my seat, run out into the aisle with the other crazies and begin to dance. (Note: my definition of "dance" is rather loose. A proper definition would probably be something along the lines of "jump.") I recall enjoying myself and also becoming increasingly more winded as the song went on. I remember not thinking about anything else in that moment other than the fact that I was cutting loose.
Generally I'm not a dancer in public. In public. Something really awesome has to be happening for me to reach that level of excitement. Clothes and loose skin flop. Hair ends up everywhere. You begin to break out a sweat. You start breathing heavy. It's messy. It's undignified. People might judge you.
I'm in such a different context today. I'm an optimist, but I also tend to be critical. There are a lot of things I believe now that I once didn't believe. There are a lot of things I don't believe anymore. Life and faith look a lot different for me these days. I'm come to experience them in new, fresh ways.
But there's something childlike and freeing about doing the things you once did, before you were exposed to the scope of reality. Sometimes I like to fling my brain out and leave it at the door for a little while. Long enough for me to dance. Long enough for my feet to hit the ground, sending signals back to my heart, resucitating me. Long enough for my hands to sway in the air and send word to my soul: "you are free."
I continued to run and couldn't help but smile. I felt more like myself than I had in a while.