I’m sitting in my wife’s hospital room while she sleeps off the effects of a general anesthetic.
I’m looking at Jesus. That Jesus in the picture above.
This being a Catholic hospital I’m assuming that’s a crucifix on the wall behind her bed, but I can’t help but think the Lord looks like he’s striking a bit of a modern dance pose.
Caz has just come back from theater after a major procedure (don’t worry, nothing life threatening), so she’s out like a light right now, leaving me to watch over her and contemplate Dancing Jesus.
I quite like the thought of him as Dancing Jesus rather than Dying Jesus, because who wants to think about dying in a hospital if you don’t have to. Also because Dancing Jesus seems a bit more present and helpful than Dying Jesus right now.
Don’t get me wrong: I know he died for our sins and that was very helpful. But, at the risk of getting a bit corny and sentimental, I’ve been dancing with this woman for over 30 years now and I absolutely love her to bits, so it’s nice to think of the Dancing Jesus with us on the dance floor of life.
Actually, that was corny, wasn’t it? Sorry.
Reminds me of the awkward lyrics to that old 1960s hymn, Lord of the Dance, the only hymn I can think of where Jesus sings to us, instead of the other way around:
“Dance then, wherever you may be,
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He,
And I’ll lead you all, wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance, said He.”
When you’ve been in step with another person for as long as Caz and I have you well and truly know all their moves, including their bad ones. And if you can love them anyway, you’ve got something very special. And increasingly rare.
And if you both love Jesus, well, he gets so entwined in the choreography between you that it’s impossible to imagine him never having been there.
Someone once said, “Love is a dance that is performed by two hearts that have the same beat.”
Actually, I’d say it’s three hearts, because the truth is, I can’t actually even begin to picture who I am – let alone what I would be doing – without the two of them. My whole identity is thoroughly bound up in knowing and loving them, and in being known and loved by them.
I was once asked what I would say if I could write a letter to my 10-year-old self. That’s an easy one. I’d write to that anxious little kid, “Don’t worry. You’re going to meet Jesus and a beautiful woman, and they’re both going to hold your hand and love you, and help you to do all the things you need to do.”