If you ever get the opportunity to visit Barnabas Prep, or Camp Barnabas, I want you to take a few minutes to look at the message written on the bus featured in this post. On it, there is a powerful quote and it says this:
“We’re not partying, this is just the way we live!”
Every time I see those words I smile. Without hesitation, I am caught quietly laughing to myself. And I honestly can’t help it. Every time I glance at that particular phrase it hits me. In that moment, there is an unspeakable joy and laughter that rolls over my soul.
I smile at first because the saying is so true of our community. I smile secondly because I always wonder what people think when they see us. Especially, people who are parked right behind us and then view us exiting the vehicle. I smile, lastly, when I think of how many times we have allowed people to enter into the party and the joy they have received from us- and us from them.
About a week and a half ago this saying was put on display and was illuminated like no other. It happened on the dance floor- a fitting place for us to party.
We were on our spring break cruise to Mexico. We were doing what we typically do. We were enjoying life, enjoying each other, and enjoying others around us.
Then one of our students, Jerryd, was caught by the dancing bug. Mind you, at this time there was scant a person on the dance floor. But on his own he started dancing. He started melting away into the rhythms of the night. His hips didn’t lie so the ladies had to comply. And the next thing you know he had a dance partner.
Now, I can’t quite remember all the details about how it happened next. But something about Jerrdy’s infectious dancing begat more invitations to the dance floor. The invitations kept on coming and more people were lost into the rapturous festivities.
Person after person entered into the dance space. Within a few minutes the masses were birthed. People of all backgrounds were partying together- experiencing the joys of movement, laughter, fun, rhythm, love, and the shear beauty of being together.
There was a standstill moment that captured my heart while we partying together. It was the kind of moment that is featured in movies. A scene where time stops. A moment when you can see everything clearly.
For me, it was a moment where I was overcome and overwhelmed with unbelievable satisfaction. In that moment people were just people. We were people who were enjoying each others company. There were no were classifiers of race, disability, social status or anything of the sort. Differences were embraced and accepted.
It was a lovely moment. And I long to see more of them.
I pray tonight that we all would throw ourselves a little further into the dance floor of life. May we embrace the rhythms of love a be compelled to dance with each other.
I pray that we would dance with our differences and diversity. I pray that we enjoy each other presence and share each others pain- no matter how the contrast of expereince.
I pray that we would party hard- because that’s the way we live!