What do we do to mark an occasion like this?
How do we honor those who died?
How do we express our sadness and deep feelings
in a way that is not just a meaningless online thumbs up
or a copied, artistically rendered, emotional cliché
whose real message is,
I have no idea what to do but it seems like I ought to do something.

We absolutely ought to do something,
but what?

***
Every one of us —
gay, straight, cis, trans,
all genders, all orientations –
every human born
wants to dance.

I don’t mean literally.
Not everyone has rhythm, likes dance music,
knows how, or is willing to look like an idiot while learning –
not everybody actually wants to get up on their feet and move to music.

But everyone,
at their deepest, sometimes unconscious level,
wants to be themselves,
yearns to be who they really are.
There exists in each person
a longing to give voice to their unique self,
and this longing exerts a steady pressure outward that only increases with time.
If stifled, if shamed, if ignored,
this energy that could have been employed for good in the world —
because whole, healthy people of every description
are always a force for good in the world —
this energy can turn in on itself, become self-hatred,
ferment into violence against the soul or the rejecting society . . .
and we know all too well
how that tragedy might end.

Every human born
needs to be allowed to be themselves,
needs assurance that they are okay,
that they are made by God and loved exactly as they are.

Dancing is fun.
Dancing is self-expression.
Dancing with other people who are learning who they are
and who are delighted for you to learn alongside them
is pure joy.

We all need safe places to dance,
literally and metaphorically.
This tragedy never, never should have happened.

But it did, so now what?

Well,
we are here, now.
We are on this earth,
living and breathing,
feeling and thinking.
Our gifts, our potential,
all right here
in these varied and beautiful bodies.
The world is wide open to us,
this magnificent world
where there are clouds and stars to notice,
birds and night sounds to hear,
honeysuckle and damp grass to smell,
morning freshness and evening air to feel,
and people to love
everywhere.

Everywhere there are souls, young and old,
who need exactly what we are.
Who need exactly what we have to give.
Who need a smile,
a kind word,
encouragement,
a hug.

We are children of light,
and we cannot be stopped;
we are vessels of love,
and we will not live in fear.

We can honor the memory of those who are no longer with us
by being aware,
living fully,
and treating each other with great, great kindness,

because what we have to give
is needed by every human born —

love,
acceptance,
and heartfelt encouragement
to listen for their own music
and dance.


Find more of Lindy’s work here.

Lindy Thompson

Lindy Thompson is a lyricist and writer who has collaborated with Mark Miller on many pieces for choral and congregational singing. She lives in Franklin, TN where she and her family are members of Christ UMC. She blogs at lindythompson.net

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