When Community Looks Different

dance class I've been going to my weekly dance class since last Thanksgiving.

Slowly, I've started to feel at home there. It's not just an exercise class anymore, it's a community. We come and we dance and we are silly and serious. We talk about what is going on in our lives and we forget about it all for about an hour and a half.

Our group is not always made up of the same people, but when we come together, things seem to click, we find a unity, whether we would have in other contexts or not.

For me, this is about redemption. Dance has been part of my life for a long time, but it hasn't always been a place where I could be myself. Being myself has not been enough.

My relationship with my body has been mostly kind and loving, but dance made me resent my hips and thighs. Instead of feeling graceful and light, I sometimes felt wide and clumsy.

ballet class

There were moments of beauty and ecstasy, when all that fell away and I was transported to another plane. But the rest of the time, I felt just not quite good enough. I didn't have "it."

This class is eating away at my dancing insecurity. In this class, I feel powerful and strong and special. I feel that even when I don't know what I'm doing, I am trying and that is good and healthy and right. I know that the world will not end because I can't get a step right, or forget part of the routine. If something isn't gelling, I can come back the next week and it will all be different and new.

I have watched all of these things happen, and these things alone are good. But last week, at class, things went a step further.

We were reacting, along with the rest of the nation, to the tragedy in Boston. There we were, gathered together, and my dance teacher asked if we could pray. We held hands in a circle and came together across all manner of barriers and prayed over our country.

It is sometimes tempting for me to limit God. I have preconceived ideas about what He does and how He does it. I forget, sometimes, that He can show up in my dance class just as easily as in my small group, and that He can bring people together anywhere, however He pleases.

So, I'm curious, what are some unexpected places God has shown up in your life?