Dance like everybody’s watching

There are some people who are smooth, graceful, aware of themselves and the way their body moves in space. They glide or float across the room. I am not one.

I am the sort of person who goes to casually lean against the wall, only to thump hard against the said wall because it’s a good three inches farther away than I thought.  Or clangs her forearm against the doorknob on the way past. Twice in the same day. 

So, I knew it was just a matter of time before I managed to share this aspect of myself with the congregation on a Sunday morning.

Today was the day.  The service had gone pretty smoothly, all things considered.   I was running on fumes. I pulled together the sermon last night after driving up to Atlanta on Friday and back yesterday (yes, Saturday).  I didn’t sleep well, and woke up feeling a little woozy.  So, even though I didn’t bring quite as much energy as usual, I felt pretty good about things as we headed into the close of the service.

While the organist/music director taught the new Benedictory Response to the congregation, I shifted over to the side of the chancel, joining the choir and congregation as we practiced the song. I thought I would move down the three steps to the floor while he finished, just to be efficient and ready to pronounce the benediction.

Except that I had moved to the part of the chancel where the steps angled a bit. So when I stepped down, I missed the first step with my left foot and dropped down to the second.  Which led to a series of very quick steps and a couple of spins to keep the momentum from tossing me into the first row of pews.

This unplanned bit of liturgical choreography was met by a chorus of octogenarian gasps — and a silent prayer from this preacher “Oh, dear Lord, don’t let anyone go into heart failure over this!”

I threw up my hands in a position somewhere between a classic blessing and a gymnast who has just barely controlled a landing, flashed two thumbs up and said into my microphone…
“I’m ok!”

My unflappable friend at the organ continued on for a few more sentences, then smiled and pronounced us ready to sing. He later confided that he was ad-libbing in hopes it would help me pull together enough to pronounce a benediction… so the congregation could sing its response.

The mere fact that people mentioned the sermon, the choir’s anthem and the prayers – in addition to my little dance  – on the way out the door is proof that grace abounds.  

Even if not in my feet.


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