Last weekend, my husband Jess and I happened upon a silent disco at Lincoln Center. There were three DJs for three radio channels, each connected to wireless headphone sets worn by hundreds of people dancing. A person’s headphones glowed red, blue, or green depending on which DJ, or radio channel, they were listening to. It was a pretty funny site to behold for those of us who couldn’t hear the music. Jess and I laughed and then quickly joined in. “It’s like a free wedding!” he yelled above the music blasting in our ears. We love to dance but, for the most part, only end up doing so at wedding receptions.
As with wedding receptions, the DJs played plenty of crowd favorites – we rocked that Casbah – and to my delight, some old school hip-hop. Grandmaster Flash, anyone? When I looked around, I felt a kinship to those dancing to the same music as me, signaled by the color lighting up on their headphones. At one point, I was excited to see a bunch of people with green headphones form a conga line. I quickly switched to the green channel, heard “Shake, Senora” and jumped in the line.
Reflecting on the silent disco, and that conga line in particular, I thought about how people of faith can hear a certain music that others don’t. We might march to the beat of a different drummer, as the saying goes, or do a dance that onlookers don’t fully understand unless they join in.
Likewise, I remembered the words of a woman from seminary who used to be an atheist. When she spoke of her conversion, she said, “You’ll never understand Christianity until you’re in it.” In other words, she had to experience it, live it – join in the dance – in order to understand the faith.
Fittingly, the Holy Trinity has been understood as a dance since the early days of the Church. The term for this is perichoresis (circle dance). The Trinity is an eternal dance of the Father, Son, and Spirit, and we are invited to join them.
As you accept this invitation over and over again, may you be drawn ever more deeply into the abounding life of the Triune God. Whether you have twinkle toes or two left feet, you will find rhythm, beauty, and grace.