I first saw this picture a few days ago and I stared at it for a long time. In fact, it moved me to tears as I recalled two blogs I had written a few years ago entitled When The Music Fades and Keep On Dancing. As I looked at the picture and thought about those blogs, I recalled the some of the most difficult and painful moments of my life which ironically have primarily happened over the past eight years. There have been days when it seemed like the physical tears would never stop flowing and when they did, they continued to flow in my heart. I wanted to crumple up into a heap and would even cry out, "Stop God! It is too much! It is too hard! I simply cannot continue to trust you! I simply cannot continue to dance!"
I happen to know that the artist of this picture has voiced that same sort of cry from time to time. The artist is a young woman who is 32 years old and she is a cancer survivor. She has battled cancer not once but several times. She has suffered on two occasions a loss that I cannot possibly even imagine. Her life has come crashing down around her when she has been most vulnerable and at the moment, I am watching her rebuild it brick by brick despite the fact that she knows nothing in this world is guaranteed and she could face cancer once again.
She keeps on dancing and she does so gracefully and full of compassion for those who are suffering. Sorrow and suffering produce three vastly different responses; it produces bitterness, indifference or compassion. We might not always be able to control our circumstances but we can control how we respond to them.
The ballerina in the picture clearly is experiencing great sorrow. She is not shedding one tear but many as indicated by the steady flow streaming down her cheek. It is apparent from her facial expression that it is difficult for her to continue to dance and yet she is resolved to continue no matter how hard it is. We are getting a close up of her sorrow, her grief, her tears. Yet when you look to the right, you see another picture, another dimension. You see that despite the tears she has the strength to dance and she does so with perfect balance and poise. With beauty and grace she rises to a new height doing for what most of us would be impossible and she is doing so despite the tears.
Will we keep on dancing even when we are blinded by the tears?
Artwork courtesy of Sarah Thompson. Used with permission.
i cannot but bow my head in worship before such courage.
Thank you for sharing of one so courageous and inspiring to trust God. Her light shines not only of her strength but how God has blessed my life in the physical realm.
Blessings in Christ,