“What is it? I know that you love Africa, but I’m just not sure why. So what is it?”
Let me tell you a story…
It is Sunday morning and church is packed with beautiful, mahogany people dressed in their Sunday best. Amidst all the noise and cheerful greeting of neighbors, one hardly notices the small boy, who slips through the crowd to stand in a corner. The boy is about twelve, though small for his age of course. His clothes are torn and his barefoot, cracked, dirty feet are evidence that he has walked many miles to join us this morning. He carries with him a small instrument that he has made of wood and scrap metal, and though it looks like trash, soon we will learn that it makes beautiful music.
As the pastor enters, the boy humbly asks him if he can play a song for our church. He has walked all night from a Muslim community to join us here and he has been practicing this song for as long as he can remember. He is ready to play it for us and for the Lord. For a child of only twelve years, he is quite solemn. It is obvious how important this song is to him, how necessary that the song be perfect for his Master. His face is serious and concentrated. The song is practiced; he will not make a mistake. Despite the boy’s tremendous effort though, a smile begins to slowly creep over his face. He begins to sing and the song is transforming him. His smile spreads to engulf his whole face and he is singing at the top of his lungs. It is as if something contained deep in His soul has burst, he cannot restrain it any longer. Now he is jumping, so full of joy that he cannot contain it. Now we are all jumping, clapping, singing, dancing. We are moving, all together as one, so full of the hope of our Savior, so full of the delight and grace of our Lord that we cannot sit still. And in this moment, I never want to stop jumping. I never want to leave this room so full of the Holy Spirit that I can feel Him like electricity pumping through my veins, so alive with God’s love and promises that all we can do is dance.
So here I am. And one day I will leave, but I will always come back because my heart will remain. THAT is what it is, that is why. The joy of the Lord bubbling up inside me until i threaten to burst. The God inside of me and all around me who makes me dance.