Learning the Perichoresis

dancing togetherSounds like a dance, doesn’t it? Well, it is the dance. Suddenly the second commandment – love your neighbor as yourself- takes on another layer of meaning. If the interrelation of The Three is a dance, and we are invited in, we must learn to dance together.

You don’t learn to dance by thinking about it. You don’t learn to dance in your head. I should know this, having grown up in a coven that shunned dancing as a sin, as a strange and evocative form of PDA. The joke was that you should not kiss in public, because it might lead to dancing! As a result, I don’t know how to dance and I am self-conscious about it. I sit on the sidelines aware of my ineptitude, knowing that to stand and try would only put my awkwardness more on display.

The strange thing is that my meditations are filled with the metaphor of dance. Somehow my imagination knows what my feet do not: that dancing is about being in motion with another, learning to move in sync, both with the music and with each other. It is a mutual art form, an expression of oneness within diversity.

It’s a lot like any mutual endeavor. Like the church. Like a conversation. Each one must find the rhythm that rests beneath it all. Each one must honor the other’s movements, even as they seek to express their own. Somehow, I must give myself to the music and to another’s arms, even as I try to move my own feet in a way that responds to, but does not duplicate my partner’s moves. The music, my partner, my feet – these three don’t easily align.

The problem is, of course, that you don’t learn to dance without stepping on each other’s toes once in a while. You don’t learn without looking like the awkward learner that you are.

I think I’ll sit here and just tap my foot and grin, sheepishly.

Brothers and sisters:
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another;
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
The commandments, You shall not commit adultery;
you shall not kill;
you shall not steal;
you shall not covet,
and whatever other commandment there may be,
are summed up in this saying, namely,
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Love does no evil to the neighbor;
hence, love is the fulfillment of the law. – Romans 13: 8-10

It’s not a set of rules, it’s the music of the dance. Can you hear it?

[photo by Dixie Lawrence per cc 2.0]

2 thoughts on “Learning the Perichoresis

  1. I am an awkward dancer myself and very much understand this–and the metaphor of dance which is so important to understanding a rich, robust and ever-moving spiritual life. Thanks for writing this.


    • Thanks, Christy. I do appreciate you support in my venture into blogging … and your confirmation that at least some of my thinking resonates with you and fits within a legitimate theological frame. Your wisdom is an anchor in this.


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