Dance Party Lesson Two: Dirt-y Dancing

Tuesday, September 06, 2011 Posted by Katie

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My son seems to know that a great dance partner does not have to announce his planned moves to you. The slightest turn of a hand can lead a partner in a whole new direction. Demonstrating mastery of this skill, Noah gave me our second little turn around the dance floor of faith.

It all began with a harmless project. I’ve always loved gardens. I am a novice gardener, but I figured, Noah is three and we can learn together. Besides which, the building and nurturing of a garden is just potent with opportunity to teach theology in a tangible way. (Score). On our kick-off Saturday morning we gathered our supplies: seeds, pots, shovels, watering cans, and a huge plastic tub filled with moisture-control nutrient-rich potting soil.

Now, where to begin? Shall I tell Noah about how God began the world with a garden? About faith like a mustard seed? The harvest? That we tend the garden of our faith, but God makes it grow? The need for Living Water? The Vine and the branches? The seed that fell on good soil and yielded an abundant crop?? My seminarian heart-rate quickened with excitement as I went around the corner of the house to fill up the watering cans. I was only gone for a second.

(WARNING: Stories of regretful parenting choices often begin with this confession.)

It was then that Noah made his move. I was in the very midst of asking God to give me the words to teach my son some basic theology when I returned to the patio and discovered a startling tableau: Simon, my 8-month old, sitting in his bouncy chair, covered belly to toe in moisture-control nutrient-rich potting soil…and Noah, standing there, shovel in hand, busted.

And you know what? God is so faithful, because that’s when I began yelling, almost without thinking, (like a Holy Spirit moment), “DON’T THROW DIRT ON YOUR BROTHER!! THAT IS NOT WHAT IT’S FOR!”

And there you have it folks. We make our dance of faith more complicated than it needs to be.

Don’t throw dirt on your brother, people. That’s not what it’s for.

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