23rd Psalm for Dancers
The Lord loves to swing;
When he invites me to dance, my feet glide with ease
and my heart delights in movement and song.
With precision he leads me;
I know just how to move and just where to go.
With grace he guides me;
I dance without shame.
In his grip, I am free.
Even when my steps are tangled
or the rhythm eludes me,
still you are there, holding me by the hand.
You pull me back into the dance.
You set a song in the air so that joy pulses from my feet.
We push and pull one another in confident grace.
In your leading, my own dance shines.
I turn with confidence and kick in impromptu delight.
All of me is here in this dance.
Surely the hand of the Lord will lead me all the days of my life,
and I will dance in the halls of the Lord forever.
Authorship of Psalm 23 is generally attributed to David, a shepherd. He wrote about God from his own life experience. In the book “Finding the Groove: Composing a Jazz-Shaped Faith,” Robert Gelinas invites us to do the same. I love to dance and had an especially good time swing dancing during my sabbatical. So here’s an attempt to think of God through that lens. (Note: I used masculine language for God and assigned God the role of “lead” in this dance because in actual dance I prefer to follow, and I usually dance with men. Even so, I celebrate more fluidity around gender roles in social dancing.)