I stared at the dancers. They were inside and I was without. I pointed my fingers at them and jeered whenever some of them faltered or missed a step. I wondered aloud at how badly they danced, and told anyone who would listen ‘they call themselves dancers?’ I knew without a doubt their dance steps were wrong, and it dawned on me that instead of criticising, perhaps I could go inside myself, and show them how to do it.
And still I stared until I noticed something one day. Amidst the throng of dancers were some who never missed a step. They were not dancing together, miles separated them, but yet they danced in sync, in harmony. Their movements were fluid and their faces were rapt as they gazed at something or Someone ahead of them. I had been staring at the dancers for so long and yet had never wondered at the source of their music.
I turned my head and saw. He sat upon an ornate throne as the music poured forth from him, and it were as though the music itself was alive. And those who kept their eyes upon him danced as one. I looked around again, and saw that those I had mocked for dancing badly were looking everywhere except at Him. They had taken their focus off him,and were trying to dance to the rhythm by observing other dancers instead. And so they faltered. Some of them eventually tired of dancing badly and turned their eyes back on him, and the longer they gazed, the more fluid their movement became, until they too danced in perfect harmony. I took a step towards the room, and those who had been standing outside with me noticed. Some looked at me in apprehension, while others glared at me in accusation. I could hear their unvoiced thoughts in my head. ‘You want to join them? So you think you can dance? You want to start dancing to that music too?’ I hesitated, but only for a moment. I grasped the handle of the door, turned it, and went in.
I heard the music clearly for the first time. It flowed over and into me. I felt the warmth of the notes even as they issued forth from the One ahead, and unbidden, my limbs began to move. I danced as if my life depended on it, and indeed it did. My eyes were drawn to his, and I saw nothing but love and acceptance. His eyes were piercing and yet filled with overwhelming kindness, and I knew it was he who had given me the strength to dance. For a while I danced, and was happy, until I decided to look around at the other dancers. I also wanted those who were outside to see how well I was dancing, so I turned to see if I could catch their eyes. And then I faltered, and stumbled, and they pointed their fingers at me, and jeered.
“Dance then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the dance,” said he,
“And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the dance,” said he.