Sometimes wisdom comes from the most unexpected sources. Case in point, the 2004 remake of the (originally) Japanese film Dance With Me starring Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez and Susan Sarandon. If you haven’t seen it, and if you’re into the dance genre you should, the basic premise of the story is that John is pretty bored with his life. It’s not bad. In fact he has a loving wife, beautiful daughter, steady job, nice house . . . but he’s not really living. I think so many of us at some point can relate to this. Each day on the subway, John passes the same dance studio, and he is captivated by the beautiful (and of course, troubled) dance instructor. On a whim, he decides to enroll in classes and before he knows it, he’s living this double life of sorts.
His wife, Beverly, becomes concerned. John’s “working late” a lot. She catches him practicing dance steps. He’s different. She suspects an affair and hires a private detective. In one scene the detective and Beverly meet up in a bar to discuss his findings. John, as it turns out, is not having an affair at all. He’s ballroom dancing. While Beverly is relieved that her husband has not strayed, she is admittedly troubled that her spouse would take on this whole other life, this passion for dance without so much as telling her. What did that mean? And then Beverly says this about marriage, “We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things… all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”
Poignant and beautiful. But I want to take it a step further. Friends, what does one life really mean? It means everything to God. So much that He gave EVERYTHING to make it right. To make us right. Jesus willingly took the punishment, drank the cup dry for you. I just feel compelled to say this to you today, dear friends, He sees you. He is a witness to your life.
So many times, we fumble through our days just begging for someone to notice. Just wanting more than anything to have someone who is home, to have someone to tell the incidentals to, to laugh with, to cry with . . . to see and to love despite ourselves. Single or not, we’ve all been there. Loneliness is such a devastating aspect of the human condition.
And as my pastor has said a thousand times (and Lord knows I need to hear it one thousand times more!) any thing that we over-desire, anything or anyone that we place at the center of our hearts where Jesus should be, will condemn us. Condemn us. It will strike us down, leaving us dazed, hurt and jaded. Even beautiful, God-given desires for human companionship and love, when desired so much, will condemn us.
And in steps Grace and the rest just fades away. Just Jesus, nothing more.
So friends, if you feel me, if you’re here with me in this moment – the song below is for you. I heard it on the way home from church today and cried through its entirety. I cry. A lot.
Love to you all, and as always – thank you for reading.
1000 Gifts Continued
#183 Texas Two-Step
#184 Breeze blowing through the kitchen window while cooking breakfast
#185 God’s word speaking in a completely unexpected way – WOW
#187 Inside Jokes
#188 Courage to be honest
#190 Grace for today