Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Designed to do the Macarena
The woman was slapping her arms, patting her head, and wiggling her bum. The long version of “Macarena” played on. Her eyes sparkled. Her serious expression was belied by the gleam in her eyes. She danced with seriousness, doing her best at having a good time. Behind the intent look in her eyes was a playfulness, a joy; she was having one of the best times of her life.
There was a sense of Deja’ Vu. I had watched a similar dance during many Christmas seasons.
The dance floor was filled with many athletes from Special Olympics, most of them doing their own version of the dance, all with great joy.
Two Special Olympics coaches, married a few minutes before, were joyously mixing it up with them. Dancing or not, everyone in the room was smiling, grinning.
Brenda and I danced to the first song, a slow song. I passed on cutting loose to “Staying Alive” or “Y.M.C.A.” But it was a lot of fun to watch.
I especially liked watching the man who’d led the bride down the aisle. He had done so with seriousness, displaying a sense of importance, he knew what an honor it is to play that role. Now he was gyrating, his right hand alternating between pointing at his left foot and 11:00, back and forth, back and forth. He was “staying alive.” A regular John Travolta.
Once through "Y.M.C.A." would have been plenty for me, but these folks loved it so much... they needed a second time through it.
One guy’s shoulders hunched up, then fell, his head twisted to one side... shoulders up, head twist, shoulders drop... Like the kid in the cartoon, in the yellow shirt, doing the same dance.
Watching these people, many of them older than I, was special, a treat, one of the best weddings I can remember. They have such big hearts...
He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Watching those Special Olympics athletes made my heart grow. One woman cried when she failed to catch the bride’s bouquet. A man my age caught the garter. Where I would have been self-conscious, embarrassed, he was so happy!
These people were childlike. Not childish. Not acting immature, less than what God made them to be, but purely everything He wanted them to be. They are so full of joy, happiness, abandoning themselves to the moment. They are perfectly designed to be who they are. Designed to do the Macarena.
I watched my son, smiling a smile that has been rare (since our church burned down last June when he was playing with a candle).
I have agonized over my children, especially Jeremiah. It was so hard to believe his IQ is only 46, because he performs so well, he works so hard at being everything that his mommy and daddy want him to be. I have thought how I would be glad to give him half of my IQ to make him complete.
But Saturday, he was so happy. I watched him as he danced (shuffled) around, glad to be alive. I realized how perfect he is. He is just as he should be.
I thought about how much I would give to him. I know that if there was a moment that it was his life or mine, if he needed to be shoved out of the way of a speeding car, or needed a transplant, or anything at all, I would gladly sacrifice myself for him. He means that much to me.
Watching the athletes at that wedding party I knew that each one of them is as special as Jeremiah. I don’t know them that well, but I could see that each one is a very special person.
I realized Jesus loves each of them more than I love Jeremiah. That triggered a small spiritual epiphany.
Just as a parent is willing to sacrifice himself for his child, our Lord loves us even more. He is willing to sacrifice Himself for us. He did such a thing. And it wasn’t the quick sacrifice of jumping in front of a train, but the long, torturous, shameful death of a criminal. The perfect man loves us with infinite, perfect passion.
Jesus would have done all He did for any one of these people. He would have removed Himself from glory, from that intimate connection with the trinity, taken a human form where He sweated, and ate, and grew tired, and taught, and suffered, and was derided, and defiled, and tortured, and put to death. He would have done all of that to claim back just one of us, even the “least” of us. He did such a thing.
Amazing! I am so ordinary, such a common man, and yet the God of the universe loves me enough to be whipped for me. He would let them spit on Him, beat Him, kill Him. His eyes watched the blood spurt from His palm, and He did it gladly, that I, that we, might share that intimate connection, that eternal relationship. So that I may dance with abandon with beings having lived for eternity, living for eternity, in a joy more perfect than the greatest performances of Beethoven, more sublime than the beauty of cathedralic forests, mightier than the power of a white dwarf sun pushing the gases of its nebulaec womb aside to shine upon the universe.
I believe He would have done it, all of it, even if it was to save only one of His children.
Even if it was all just for me.
Even if it all was just for you.