Wednesday was particularly autumn-like in these parts. The weather was chilly and damp and Londonesque, and the most resilient among the colorful leaves yet unfallen seemed to be hanging on for dear life. I stopped by the grocery store on my way to mid-week supper at church, and noticed upon approaching the market a gentleman who seemed nearly oblivious to the world around him.
The man was dancing. I mean really dancing, right there on the sidewalk. The boombox-delivered tunes were lively, and evoked happy memories of days gone by. (That would have been the most likely reaction of anyone 40 and up.) The songs that you hear on the car radio that instantly transport you to a simpler time.
At first most of the shoppers and passersby seemed outwardly unmoved by the gentleman’s unusual behavior. Maybe they’d seen him before. Then, as if on cue, these strikingly gut-level and ear-to-ear grins would erupt — as if drawn out of a well where they couldn’t be contained.
It was obvious that this man was there to dance, regardless of human reaction or response. He was apparently not offended by my snapping a picture, though I apologize for the fuzziness of this photo. There simply was no lull in the action so that I could get a better one.
I’d love to know the guy’s story. Maybe he’s between jobs. A former entertainer of some sort perhaps. Or just a victim of the economy whose creativity couldn’t be snuffed out. At the very least, the street dancer is an industrious chap willing to expend a boatload of energy for only an occasional tip.
Now I’m not advocating that we all take to the streets of Paducah where we’ll bust a move for a living. But I do think there’s much to be learned from our uninhibited neighbor at the grocery store. I’ll suggest just three such lessons, seeking forgiveness in advance from anyone who wants me to be deeply theological all of the time.
1. Life’s too short to be overly concerned about what everybody thinks.
2. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing with passion.
3. A song and a smile go a long way, and may in fact start an epidemic.
If you are in Christ, your right standing with God is eternally secure. It’s based on Christ’s righteousness, which you have received by faith, and which has been fully credited to you. You are forgiven, clean, and whole. You’re a totally new creation (Second Corinthians 5:17) by God’s grace through the cross where His Son died in your place.
Were we to live our lives with a view of the gospel of Jesus always before the eyes of our hearts, we would be free indeed. We would continually celebrate our own resurrection life in the Christ whom the grave could not defeat. And even on rainy days, we would sing and dance for an audience of one: our Savior, Lord, and King.