Outside the Dance Hall

As we head into Memorial Day weekend here in the United States, it seems appropriate to re-tell a story I heard from a local area pastor about his family.

Returned servicemenHis grandfather had served in World War II. When he returned home he had quite an adjustment to make.

Many servicemen would go to the local Dance Halls for social connection, and on one occasion he found himself heading there too. As he approached, he noticed a young woman sitting on the steps outside, crying. He walked over to her and asked, “Are you alone? What’s the matter? Why are you crying?”

“Oh, I’m not alone,” she said, as she lifted her ring-finger for him to see. “I’m engaged to be married, but my fiance is inside dancing with other women and flirting with them.”

He looked at her and said, “Here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to take that ring off. And you’re going to go inside and hand it back to him, and tell him, ‘There’s a guy outside who’s going to marry me.'”

And she did!

Three weeks later they were married and they remained married for 65 years until death parted them less than a decade ago.

It’s a wonderful story (and just a little shocking) of love and romance.

Christ has done the same for us.

At some point, we all sit outside the Dance Hall wondering if anyone will love us truly, faithfully, and eternally. We all feel rejected, alone, and insecure at some point. And Christ comes to us. He invites us to let go of the dreams and the hopes that once held us, and pursue an entirely new life (and an entirely abundant life) with Him.

And everyday thereafter (even today) we are invited to say “Yes” again to Him. He invites us softly and tenderly to a lifetime and a life-pursuit to know Him more.

Two millennia ago, the Apostle Paul was captured by this profound love of Christ (see Romans 8:35-39), and resolved that his real life-mission would be “to gain Christ…to be found in Him…and to know Him” (Philippians 3:8, 9, 10). Whatever we sense to be our calling from God or our mission in His Kingdom, nothing surpasses this; to know more fully and more deeply the One who meets us outside the Dance Hall and invites us to an eternal marriage.

He wipes away our tears.

Pause, even now, and say “Yes” again to Him.

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