The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. (NIV)
I held my knees to my chest and stared at the rubble of my burned home. The removal of the ashes was the next day. My heart ached knowing the tangible evidence of my memories would soon settle in a dump.
Dance on the ashes. My quiet thought prompted me.
That’s crazy. No. I shook my head grasping a handful of slate colored dust, my beautiful house reduced to this. I’m not dancing on the ashes. People will laugh. I glanced around, people walking their dogs and cars going by.
I am not a singer or a painter, but a dancer, yes. Much had been taken from me, but the expression of my heart remained. Dance on the ashes, I told myself. Several times I stood and sat down, afraid someone would see me.
My need to proclaim victory over devastation won the argument. I stood, blasted my music, and danced. My inhibitions melted with each step. This was not just a dance, but a release of pain and an infusion of strength at the same time. My inner being shouted, I will overcome. Even if it all burns, I will stand and declare my faith. “Great is my God!” The words of the music seared truth into my spirit. With every step, the broken glass and debris crunched beneath my feet. The sound echoed—a reminder that beauty will triumph, even when brokenness screams.
When circumstances turn our lives to rubble, sometimes the only thing to do is dance on the ashes.
Often, the action we need to take to move beyond our pain is the hardest step. When we praise God for who He is, in spite of our circumstances, we fall into his generous arms of love. God wants to meet us when our heart breaks, but sometimes we ignore Him. Worship is the dance which moves us from a crumpled ball of defeat to the capable arms of Jesus.
Shauna Hoey is the author of Fire of Hope: Finding Treasure in the Rubble. Her book delivers heart-felt practical wisdom from her voice of experience. Learn more about Shauna on her website:www.shaunahoey.com
Adapted from an excerpt in Fire of Hope: Finding Treasure in the Rubble and What’s-Your-Story-Waldo Canyon Fire Colorado by Johnny Wilson The Day I Danced on the Ashes by Shauna Hoey pages 24-25