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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Dancing Shoes

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I have become a collector of hearts, but I do not collect just any hearts. They are gifts from my daughter, Danielle. Each is like a time capsule, capturing a memory from her youth. One is a foil heart of two colors. Another is a heart-shaped rock she found while playing. One is of twisted wire, a pendant shaped just for me. Another is of clay. I look at these often, as I remember my daughter will forever be in my heart as I am in hers.

What do Danielle’s hearts have to do with dancing shoes? Let me tell you a story that will give you the answer.

Pretend you are a little girl, age four-and-a-half. Yes, “and-a-half” is important when you’re that age. You are in church with Daddy and Momma and Lil’ Bro.

You’re taking dancing classes. You learn to pirouette, point your toes, jump, and twirl… The teacher you are learning from loves Jesus. Then it happens…

A holy hush comes upon the Sunday congregation. You listen in. There’s a stirring, as spontaneous worship begins. A gentleman starts singing in the balcony. He is joined by a lady in the choir. Another lady in the nave begins to sing. The congregation joins in. Soon, the worship becomes exuberant! You tug at Momma’s hem.

“Momma, can I dance?”

“What, sweetheart?”

“Jesus is here. Can I dance?”

“Yes.”

With permission granted, you run the aisle of the church, twirling in exuberant worship. Your dance is the perfect picture of what Jesus says about the innocent trust of a child;

“Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:14b (ESV)

Yes, to your momma’s delight, you worship as only a child can do. You’re carefree, real, trusting, and innocent. The joy you display comes from within your heart. You make Momma and Daddy real proud that day, and we smile real big. All day.

The next morning, you point to the heart-cross pendant your momma has worn for years. You tell me, “I wanna wear a cross with a heart like you, Momma.” 

“Sweetheart,” I say, “when you know what it means to be saved, Momma promises you, I’ll get you a heart-cross pendant.”

You pout.

“It’s just that… Sweetie, you’re only four.”

“And-a-half.”

“Yes. Your birthday is very soon. We’ll celebrate it.”

“I wanna wear a heart. With a cross.”

You cross your arms.

“When you understand…”

“But Mommy, I do understand.”

“How about you tell Mommy what you believe about Jesus.”

“He died on the cross, and He is alive.”

“Yes.”

“And He loves me this much!” You spread your hands as wide as you can. “And when I put my dancing shoes on, I can feel Him right heeeeeere ...” You point to your heart and twirl.

“I will get you a heart with a cross.” I say, “because you do understand.”

I’d love to say I got that first heart-cross pendant but I did not. You see, Danielle’s dance teacher came to me that next Sunday and told me how much my four-and-a-half-year-old was really into worship. Her teacher was impressed not by the perfection of my child’s moves, but by the spirit in which she performed them. She asked permission to give her a gift. I agreed. She handed Danielle a tiny box.

Inside, was a pendant — a cross within a sparkly heart.

Danielle jumped for joy! But I cried, knowing the Lord Himself had confirmed to me she really did know what it meant to be saved.

The Bible says, “For with the heart man believeth.” Romans 10:10a (KJV)

May I add, sometimes the inner heart puts on dancing shoes. And sometimes the one who believes is a little girl, of four-and-a-half, who knows without reservation that John 3:16 is real.

Copyright © 2019 Diane Virginia, used with permission.

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