Dancing with the Trinity

AUDIO VERSION

 

As I mentioned in an earlier post, for Valentine’s Day 2014 Priscilla and I pulled out the cards we’d exchanged in 1994 and added “20-year updates” to them. She wrote, among other things, “I am learning more every day about God’s unconditional love for me as I observe you faithfully caring for me. . . . May God bless you and strengthen you.”  (A much needed and appreciated prayer!)

The card I’d given Priscilla had a rose on the front and inside was printed, “The rose speaks of love silently, in a language known only to the heart.” It didn’t seem entirely appropriate to add words to this “silent language,” but I thought for my update I could maybe slip in the words to a song. I quoted the lyrics to a favorite of ours, “Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?”

As I added this to the card, I realized for the first time that a wife can’t promise her husband this dance for the rest of his life, only for the rest of hers. But that’s what Priscilla had done. I know for a fact that one reason why she endured the entire course of her disease with such patience and fortitude was that she’d promised to be my partner and helper “till death do us part,” and even if it got to the point where she could only give me her companionship and counsel, she wanted to offer me those to her very last breath.

A few weeks after our renewed exchange of cards, Priscilla found herself half-dreaming as she woke up one morning about what it would be like to dance with the various persons of the Trinity. She imagined that with the Father it would be a more formal “daddy-daughter” waltz. Jesus loved a party, she knew—hadn’t he changed water into wine to keep a wedding reception going?—and so he would probably lead her, and everyone else who was anywhere nearby, in a Mediterranean line dance. And the energetic and creative Holy Spirit, she decided, would definitely do hip-hop.

Later that day we got a package in the mail. It was from the couple whose wedding I’d performed in Kentucky a year and a half earlier. The package contained large and small copies of a picture their photographer had taken at the reception. It was of Priscilla and me doing the only dance we’d managed that evening, to a slow number, with me supporting most of her weight.  The photo (shown below) captured how radiantly happy she was to have that one opportunity.

What had prompted her reverie about dancing with the Trinity on the morning of the day when this picture would arrive? She’d promised me “this dance” for the rest of her life. I think God was asking for the next dance.

Sept 2012 Dance

Author: endlessmercies

The Rev. Dr. Christopher R. Smith is a writer and biblical scholar who is also an ordained minister and served local churches as a pastor for nearly twenty years. He was a consulting editor to the International Bible Society (now Biblica) for The Books of the Bible, an edition of the Scriptures that presents the biblical books according to their natural literary outlines, without chapters and verses. His Understanding the Books of the Bible study guide series is keyed to this format. He has an A.B. from Harvard in English and American Literature and Language, a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and a Ph.D. in the History of Christian Life and Thought, with a minor concentration in Bible, from Boston College, in the joint program with Andover Newton Theological School. Dr. Smith answers questions about the Bible, particularly those that arise from the use of his study guides, at goodquestionblog.com.

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