A song was shared to me the other day entitled "O Life Is Like A Sacred Circle". Here is the first verse and chorus:
Verse: I life is like a Sacred Circle when we walk the Good Red Road. We dance to pray. We pray to heal. We heal to live. We live to dance.
Chorus: We dance to pray. We pray to heal. We heal to live. We live to dance. I life is like a Sacred Circle when we walk the Good Red Road.
The person who shared this song with the group I was in then asked us to reflect on the lyric "we dance to pray" and what it could mean for each of us.
It was quickly pointed out that both dancing and praying are acts of vulnerability. That is, for many of us, dancing is not something we are trained in and as such we tend to shy away from. For as many people as I have heard say, "I can't dance" I have heard that many people say "I can't pray." Dancing in public and praying in public each take a level of trust and vulnerability that our time does not encourage.
It has also been my experience that there is a deep draw that dancing has on many of us. That is so many of us want to know how to dance. We want to be able to have the confidence and the moves, the rhythm and the smoothness of body to dance on the floor. The dance desire is also echoed in the prayer desire. That is many of us desire the words and speech, the poetry and prose to pray, and since we feel like we don't have those things - we don't pray.
Prayer life is dance life. That is to say, the ones who I know have a vibrant prayer life are the same ones who are comfortable dancing. Through prayer, these individuals are accustom to being vulnerable and so the act of dancing is just another expression of the vulnerability they have practiced in prayer.
Rev. John Thornburg, who was leading the discussion, said that the US is the only place and time that has a culture of "I can't dance". I would add that we may be the only place and time that has a culture of "I can't pray."
I ask you to consider the mantra:
"We dance to pray. We pray to heal. We heal to live. We live to dance."