I don’t know if this happens to everyone once they hit university and beyond but for me and most people I know there’s been a major new development: all our friends are getting married off. I’ve been to probably twenty weddings in the last three years, or will have by the end of this summer. One might think I would have gotten sick of them by now, especially since I’m nowhere near reaching the altar myself, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. A certain captain of a certain Disney flagship movie series which may or may not have just had its fourth instalment released put it well: “A wedding?! I love weddings!” And I would also add: “I love wedding dances!” But this isn’t about weddings or dances at all.
This is about something I’ve noticed at the last couple weddings. We’ve probably all seen it in a million different ways and not just at weddings: there is strength in weakness. Try to tell me you can’t see the strength of the groom’s love for the bride when his voice cracks with emotion during the vows. But I said this wasn’t about weddings.
For instance, there’s this one guy you might have heard of who once got so frustrated with his weaknesses that he begged God to take them away. God said to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” His response to that was to boast about his weaknesses as a sort of appeal that God would work through him more powerfully. Guess it worked: that guy personally reached thousands if not tens of thousands throughout (at the time) Asia Minor, Macedonia (Greece) and Italy. That guy… was St Paul. You can read about the whole thing in 2 Cor 12:9. There’s strength in weakness.
Then there’s this other guy, a diminutive, uneducated monk that many people considered to be at least half off his rocker who really loved St Joseph and wanted to build a fitting monument to Jesus’ foster father. With little respect even from some of his fellow monks and rumours swirling throughout the world about his character, I don’t think you can get much weaker. Yet he is credited with miraculous healings of thousands while building one of the most beautiful oratories in the world, and certainly in North America. It’s the oratory of St Joseph in Montréal, Québec, (incidentally where Rise Up 2010 was) and this little guy was St Andre Bessette.
And then there’s the weakest of all. She’s a simple, humble girl not more than fifteen years old. She is asked to give up her security, her plan for the future, and her very womb for the glory of God. She says, “Let it be done to me according to your word.” The result? Her Son saves all of mankind from their sins and she herself becomes the Queen of all Saints: Mary the Mother of God.
The best image I’ve heard for this kind of “weakness” is of “the follow” in a dance. The follow needs to follow the lead or the dance will be completely awkward, possibly painful, and pretty far from beautiful. But, if the lead is any good and if the follow truly follows him and completely trusts him with every turn and sway of the music, the dance is transformed into something beautiful to behold and a joy to participate in. That’s how we need to be with God. We need to say yes. We need to let Him lead in our lives. Then, the dance of each of our lives will become something beautiful, powerful, and transforming in our world. It might even be a saintly life.
I dare you to say “yes” to God’s lead in your life. And once you’ve done that, I challenge you to a dance-off. With Jesus leading, of course.