This new normal. It’s not supposed to be like this.
The barre I ordered before Amazon shut down all non-essential deliveries was supposed to come today. My little Marley square came yesterday and I was waiting to open it to assemble them all together. But I had to teach class via Zoom tonight so I went ahead and laid the floor. Last week, I was pulling out all of my home workout stuff. “Apparently I have three yoga mats” I texted Mommy. Today, I went to lay the floor before my class and I thought I would put the yoga mats underneath the Marley so I wouldn’t be dancing on hard concrete (Corona ain’t gonna give me shin splints, no sir). They fit perfectly under the floor “This is why God gave me three yoga mats” I texted Mommy. It was a little gift. El Roi— the God who sees.
It started to feel a little more like the familiarness of a studio with the Marley. So I just laid there, like I’ve done many times in the studio. On my back, worship music in the airpods. And I got really sad. Because it’s not supposed to be like this. I’m so grateful for technology but dance is not supposed to be taught through a screen. I’m so grateful for our large basement but I’m not supposed to be confined to a 6ft x 6ft square of Marley and my tiny 5’ 2” frame isn’t supposed to hit the air ducts when I raise my arms to fifth. I started to remember how it feels to fly in grand allegro. And wondered how my jumps might suffer from not being able to practice them for who knows how long.
Then I remembered the feeling of performing on stage. And wondered when I might get to be on stage again. My thoughts drifted to all the empty theaters around the world right now. Their lobbies usually filled with the social buzz of anticipation. Their stages the canvas where hard won creativity, countless hours of sweat, practice, and design culminate in beauty that dazzles the senses. Now, cavernous spaces— quiet, dark, at rest.
And I started to cry. Because it’s not supposed to be this way. Sean Curran’s Bigger Than I Thought played as the tears fell down the side of my head to make tiny puddles in my ears. No, it’s not supposed to be this way. We live in broken world. “I will rest in the Father’s hands, leave the rest in the Father’s hands” He’s got this broken world in His hands. And it’s okay to feel sad about what’s going on. We don’t have to pretend everything is all sunshine and roses when it’s not. His heart hurts for this world too. When Lazarus died, Jesus wept. We do not have a Savior who cannot sympathize with our sufferings.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Ps. 91:1). He’s got this. He’s bigger than we think. He will fight for us, we need only be still. Ironically that’s what this virus is doing for most of us — forcing us to be still. And ironically being still is counterintuitive to dancing.
Maybe it is supposed to be like this. Not the brokenness and chaos but maybe I am supposed to slow down. Maybe in the stillness, He wants our attention. Maybe the silence echoes the greatest redemption story ever told. Maybe it’s not supposed to make sense. Maybe He’s asking us to rest and trust.
One day, I will be able to jump high again. One day I will be reunited with my students face to face. One day, I will perform again. One day we will once again hear the orchestra warming up and the sound of applause fill the space beyond the fly rails. And we will recognize the gifts we have in such things.
In the meantime, I’ll find my strength in His joy. I will steward these days well. I will dance on a tiny square of Marley with my hands touching the ceiling. I will teach to the best of my ability through little rectangles on a screen. And I will do it without grumbling or complaining. Because suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character hope. And hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:3-5).
Exodus 14:14, Psalm 46:10, Philippians 2:14,