Dancing in the Dark

At the Rec Center of the local university, a guy wearing sun glasses was making odd, random movements while music played over the loud speakers.  He was near the swimming area and sand volleyball pits, and the closer I got, the more I wondered if he was drunk.  At best, I figured he had some sort of muscle coordination problem, plus he had what looked like a goofy grin on his face.

Every step closer though it became clear I was wrong, way wrong.  He was blind.

He was dancing in his own way, swaying back and forth in broken, jerky movements. What I thought was a goofy grin was actually a pure, wholesome smile of joy as he held his head and face up to the sun’s warmth.

He moved side to side with occasional lunges and would throw out his arms like he was shadow boxing.  It wasn’t pretty, but what he lacked in physical grace to dance, he more than made up for with the dancing going on in his spirit!

No one was near him, but he wasn’t alone. Some college students playing beach volleyball would call out to him from time to time.  He would acknowledge them with an awkward wave of his arm, shoulder and head — all at once. Within seconds though, he’d be right back into the flow with music sounding in his ears, but playing in his heart.

Dancing in the Dark StoryWith no inhibitions, no reservations, he danced in his own way.  It’s not socially appropriate to stare, but it didn’t feel like it would be offensive to anyone.  I stopped and stared, mesmerized by the moment.  Maybe a passerby would have thought me rude.  Maybe I was, but there was something about watching this blind college student dancing in his dark world that helped me see the light.

I can’t really fathom what it would be like to be in his shoes, or to live sightless, which reminds me:

God, it’s been a long time since I’ve said thank you for being able to see.  Thank you God that I can hear the birds, walk, work, sleep, laugh, cry.  Thank you for the people I love, for those I know, even the stranger at lunch who pulled his sports car in front of me almost causing an accident and then flipped me off.  Thank you I can remember most things, and for coffee, and place to call home.  Most of all God, thank you that You see on the inside, both the good and bad.  And even though I dance on the inside with broken, jerking movements and a big goofy grin, You don’t stop and gawk, but simply smile, enjoy the moment, and call me son.

Thank you God that when I call out to You that You acknowledge and accept my random, awkward wave.  Can I ask you a question though, God?  God, I’m wondering. I’m wondering if this blind college student sees more every day dancing in the dark than I see walking in the sunshine?

I don’t know. Could be. Really could be.Dancing in the Dark Story




13 thoughts on “Dancing in the Dark”

  1. This is beautiful and I love your prayer. You know, as children we were never allowed to “gossip” about other children in our home. Daddy would always tell us two things, “Walk a mile in their shoes, then tell me about them.” Another was, “When you think you are too big for your britches go battle mother nature, then tell me how big you are.”

    Of course as adults this carried over.

    Many times our “first impressions” really come out to be null and void.

    I was in a restaurant one time and the waitress was less than good. I really got irritated with her bc she was talking to everyone and did not leave her a tip.

    The next time I went there she talked with me and come to find out she had breast cancer and was going through chemo and radiation, and she was working. Kind of made me want to crawl under the table, and slap myself.

    Needless to say I was on my knees that night asking God for forgiveness.

    What gets me about these moments is how God shows us so much. God Bless, SR


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