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Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Clumsy Dance

Our impromptu dance was an uncharacteristic as it was unexpected. It wasn’t the awkward movements or lack or artistry that made it surprising. After all, my husband, who has countless admirable qualities, has never once claimed to be a dancer.  His infrequent forays onto the dance floor have demonstrated he didn’t underestimate his abilities.

What surprised me was that this two-step, one-step, two-step, one routine—glaringly devoid of choreography—occurred at all. It isn’t like my husband to misjudge a situation or to hesitate in determining a course. And once a course is set, he isn’t likely to retrace his steps. He seldom backs away from a challenge, even if the challenge at hand is an approaching white Suburban. One menacing glare from the steely blue eyes of this teddy bear of a man is usually sufficient to slow the speediest driver.

But here we were, inelegantly waltzing from the curb to the pavement in a tentative attempt to carry our newest home improvement project, packaged in pristine DIY components, to our car.

Equally surprising was the way I joined him in the uncertainty. At the moment he took his first step backwards, I was already in the middle of the lane, clearly in the bull’s-eye of the SUV. Being in the path of an oncoming car is a position in which I find myself frequently. My cavalier attitude toward moving vehicles is rooted in a history of being blonde and taking for granted that from a distance drivers would assume I was either too dumb or too beautiful to hit. They would, of course, have been right on the first and wrong on the second.

In the recent situation, it would have taken me fewer steps to reach safety than to run dutifully to his side. I make no apologies for this illogical decision. I acted from a desire to honor my husband’s continuing attempts to protect me. This is a newfound delight for me—not his attempts, but my willingness to appreciate them. A growing wisdom born of age and experience compels me to signal to this man who is so dear, “I will follow you even when I have no idea what you are doing.”

Humor and eye contact ended our dance. The driver laughed and waved. My husband shrugged sheepishly and walked. I shook my head and followed.

Unbidden, a simple recollection careened into my brain and collided with my relief. “An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8 HCSB).

James 1:2-7 gives the background, “Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

How absurd I must appear when I ask God for a gift and falter to embrace it. The clumsy dance of two adults trying to cross a busy driveway is laughable human error. The failure to walk with steadfast confidence toward the promises of an unfailing Father is unmistakable folly.