I was cleaning out a bookcase today and I found this gem.
It’s not like it was lost. I knew it was there, I just hadn’t looked at it lately. It is symbolic to me in many ways.
I got to see Karen Kain dance her farewell tour. I use the word “I got to” because it was something I didn’t think would ever happen. I had followed Karen Kain for as many years as I danced. I admired her. It was a translucent wisp of a dream. Too extravagant for a young married couple, one of which was doing his masters in seminary and working part-time in retail and the other one who worked for under ten dollars an hour in an office.
To say it was an extravagance is an understatement. But Mark got me the tickets anyways for my birthday. ( Wasn’t it a coincidence that tickets went on sale right around my birthday? I don’t really believe in coincidence.) The thing that made it even more so, was we paid for it twice.
Because I lost the first set of tickets. I was recycling paper off Mark’s desk and I’m pretty sure they got swept up in scrap paper. We discovered it soon enough afterwards but too late to find them in the garbage or recycling. I was sick. Mark ordered another pair of tickets. He didn’t even get mad at me.
(Now this wasn’t the most fiscally responsible thing to do. I know that. But we were young. Somewhat stupid.)
Putting that aside, we knew that this was a once in a lifetime experience! I would never get the chance to see Karen Kain dance again. Was it worth it? OH YEAH BABY! Parts of that day are crystal clear in my mind. It was a Sunday matinee performance. We went after church. I remember being in the lobby. I remember sitting in our seats and looking for the other set of seats. Our second ones were better anyways!
The most standout thing in my mind is Karen Kain herself. She did not disappoint. I had been to ballets before. I had never in my life seen someone dance like that! She was so incredibly light on her feet that she seemed to literally float through her steps. It was like watching light move. It filled me with joy. Having trained for years in ballet I know how hard and disciplined you have to be. You have to make your body do things that it just doesn’t want to do. It takes years to look somewhat decent when you dance. What I saw on stage that day beat anything I have ever seen before or since in the dance world.
We moved mountains to get there that day. (Mark wasn’t as excited as I.)
Have you every moved mountains to “get to” see someone? As I have been reading through the New Testament in the LentChallenge and studying Jesus’ life in my bible study I can’t help but think about the crowds that sought him out. Obviously the miracles, the healing of sick and demon-possessed drew people out to see him. Why else did they come? He was a gifted teacher. Scripture often states that the crowds were amazed by what they heard. Jesus was offering them a new, radical way to live life. It wasn’t about laws, rules and regulations. It was about love, repentance and a new way to live. They came by the thousands. Did people crane to get a look? Piggyback on someone else? No big screens back then. With thousands in the crowd you can bet for some, Jesus was just a speck in a boat, on a hill.
Family members and friends of those who were sick and infirm moved mountains to see him. The sick, who were considered unclean, risked public ridicule to get near him. People tore holes in a roof to lower a friend down into the house Jesus was in. They sent servants to beg Jesus to come and heal. They reached to touch even his tunic. These people were desperate. For most it was their last hope. They had tried everything else.
Did Jesus disappoint? No, he didn’t. He healed the sick. He drove out demons. He forgave sins. He fed thousands on a few loaves of bread and some fish. He taught them and most of all, he loved them. Did they know that it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience? Did they know it would be life-changing? Did they walk away from that glimpse of the Son of God, totally wrecked in a good way? Because they knew they could never go back to life as it was? For some most assuredly they did. Others may have realized later, just what they had witnessed. And others, they totally missed the boat. They had no clue what they had “got to see”.