Deeper than Words

Deeper than Words

There are many things I bemoan in this life, in our U.S. culture.

The divisiveness.  The unrelenting messages we’re fed that we don’t have enough, don’t make enough, and just plain aren’t enough.  The fact that our children are growing up faster and faster, forgetting how to play younger and younger, captivated by screens, tainted by over-sexualization, ingrained with violence.

I mostly lament these things. I pray over them.  I  take whatever small steps I can in my own life and in my family to stand against them.

But every now and again I catch a glimpse that rescue is coming.

That redemption is, indeed, always at work beneath the surface of the day to day.

Last week, that glimpse was in a Zumba class, of all places.


Ben and I work with a wide variety of kids.  All kinds of backgrounds and passions, talents and abilities, heartaches and shame.

But when the music started, none of these differences mattered.

The pretenses, pride, shame and fear were all left in a collective heap by the door.

All as one, feet shuffled, hands clapped, bodies moved.

One, two, three and four. Five, six, sev-en, eight.


We relish the moments when the proving and fighting ceases, when the kids get to step out of the grown-up boxes they’ve been shoved into, or stepped into willingly.

It’s amazing to watch a young person become a child, even if for a moment.

We all got to believe, even if only for an afternoon, that we are free.  That we are in this together.  That we are loved and accepted and okay, even if we miss a step or clap off beat.  Because there is something bigger we are all engaged in.

A divine dance that weaves and works its way in and out and up and down.  Shuffling and slow at times; pumping fists and shouting loud others, but always, rhythmically moving us further along this road of redemption.

And sometimes, maybe, I see that more clearly in a Zumba class with 30 kids than I do in the text of my Bible.

Sometimes there are things that reach beyond words, that are too weighty to be contained on a page.

Sometimes you need the words to put on skin and bones and be set to a different tune to be able to finally see what was staring you in the face all along.


“The creative life invites us to envision and discern what God is trying to accomplish in the world.  It employs the intellect but also takes us beyond it, down into the deeper levels, to the realms of intuition and imagination.  The creative process, in its many forms, involves bringing back the treasures of those realms and offering them to the world.”
(Jan Richardson)


  1. parmanifesto on November 5, 2013 at 10:56 pm

    We need more dancing in church. Where’s King David to get this party started?

    And of course now that I’m not coming to Bible Club it gets twice as cool.

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