She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. (Proverbs 31:25)
Did you ever wonder how the plain, hard-working, celibate, seventeenth-century Shakers got their name? It is because they shook under the power of God and they danced with joy! One of their dancing songs is 'Tis a Gift to be Simple:“If this is how you treat your friends, no wonder you have so few!”
‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free ‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be, And when we find ourselves in the place just right, ‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.No wonder they were persecuted and chased out of Europe; they scandalized staid, proper, miserable Christians. Just like when King David danced before the Lord with complete abandonment. As Catholics, do we look on with scorn when we see anyone who is happy, moving and dancing in the Spirit? Remember how God reacted not only to David but to his wife Michal;
As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal, daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart. When David returned home to bless his household, Michal, daughter of Saul, came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!” David answered his wife, “I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.” (2 Samuel 6:17-22; emphasis mine)I am willing to wager that almost all religious, faithful Catholics would not model the joyful David but scowl along with his wife Michal at such a scene. Yet joy and the ability to laugh is not just for Pentecostals; it is also for intelligent, sophisticated Catholics. As C.S. Lewis explains,
“Joy is the serious business of heaven.”Even though icons and holy cards often depict the saints and the entire Holy Family looking miserable and weak with tears streaming down their pale faces, the truth is the saints lived in God’s presence and in His joy. So raise up your eyes to the face of God and laugh. Basically, when we take our eyes off ourselves and look to God, rather than wallowing in our broken emotions we can laugh, while clothed in strength and dignity.
Copyright 2018 Melanie Jean Juneau
About the Author
Melanie Jean Juneau is a mother of nine children who blogs at joy of nine9. Her writing is humorous and heart-warming; thoughtful and thought-provoking. Part of her call and her witness is to write the truth about children, family, marriage and the sacredness of life. Melanie is the administrator of ACWB, the Editor in Chief at CatholicLane, CatholicStand, Catholic365 , CAPC & author of Echoes of the Divine.