Dancing Out of my Cell:
Too ashamed to tell the truth. Too alone to cry for help. Too wounded to know that I deserved to be loved and not to be hurt. Too afraid to make a change. I tried to make him understand, but my tears only made him angry. He had promised to love and cherish me, but instead there came violence and rage. I cried out to God, “please change this man,” but change never came. Before I knew what was happening, I was locked away in a prison cell of shame and fear.
The spirits of darkness were my prison guards. They lied to me everyday:
You are alone
God doesn’t love you
There is no hope
You have to stay
Too sad to eat and too terrified to sleep, I lay on my cot, waiting for death. One day a visitor came to me. The guards trembled at his voice and he silenced them with a word. He took the keys and opened my cell, but I didn’t make a move.
He sat on my cot and spoke tenderly to me:
Daughter you are free. Can’t you see that I have opened the door for you?
I shook my head, “I am too weak.”
He looked into my eyes, “but I AM strong.”
“I am too frightened.”
“I AM bigger than all your fears.”
“I am too ashamed.”
“I AM the lifter of your head.”
But I just wasn’t ready to believe him yet and he knew it. “Well, if you don’t want to leave tonight, will you at least dance with me?”
He stood and extended his hands to me and I noticed that they had been pierced. He must have seen my glance. “I hope you don’t mind that my hands are a little worn, I had a very important job to do and this was the result.” Even though I was nervous I took his hands and he lifted me to my feet. At first I just stepped side to side, but before too long he had me twirling and laughing, and for a moment I had joy. I thanked him for the dance and I returned to my cot. He promised to visit again. The next day, and everyday after that, my visitor returned and we danced. “Follow my lead” he’d say with a smile, and I would imitate him in my cell. The more we danced, the freer I felt. I inched my way closer to the door of my cell without really noticing. Dancing with my kind visitor and new best friend made me forget all about my shame and fear. I looked forward to his visits more than I looked at my circumstances.
And before long I was dancing out of my cell. Dancing my way to joy. Dancing my way to healing. Dancing my way to freedom.
You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy. Psalm 30:11