This afternoon, I post my our dance party video to the Instagram and y’all…I struggled to re-watch it. When I looked at the video, I didn’t see my daughter and I having fun, I didn’t see a super cute night shirt (I mean, come on..”straight outta bed”…hilarious!), I didn’t see my (finally) clean kitchen…no I saw my curves. I saw the extra pounds around my middle section. And I felt shame. This is why it took me the WHOLE DAY to post the video. I hated my body, I hate how goofy I looked, I hated everything.
I almost wished I didn’t make the video. But then I remembered how this whole series started.
Some of y’all have seen the video I made about my heartbreak as a black mother. I was so humbled by your responses and encouragements to press on. I was laying bed one morning after that video went live and a friend tagged me on an Twitter hashtag called, #CarefreeBlkKids2 it’s a feed full of video and picture of kids just loving life, dancing in a second line, dancing to Beyonce, singing to the post man, anything and everything joyful about innocence and trust.
Because I used to dance my favorite videos were the ones of kids dancing and as I watched them, I was struck by how little they cared what people thought of them while they danced.
and I thought, “Wow, God…I want to be that carefree again.” and as I thought about that I thought about God as a loving father with an iPhone, wanting to snap pictures of us, wanting to capture our moments of joy, wanting to help us preserve our peace, wanting to give us a chance to stop and see that there is good in the world.
And I sense God say, “I want you to be carefree again.” So I spent the next few weeks asking God, “What does it mean to be carefree?” and slowly a phrase bubbled to the surface, “Subversive joy…practice subversive joy…”
Why a subversive joy?
Because subversive means to not just resist but to overcome a broken system. In our lives there’s a system that not of this world that seeks to keep us broken and oppressed— it’s despair. When we choose joy, when as ask God to give us moments of carefree and happy, we’re subverting despair with a new, fruitful way of being— joy.
Which brings me back to today, I chose to practice subversive joy by dancing even though I’m not a size 2, even though I really struggle with my body because despair at my weight wanted to keep me broken. Nah…not today.
I’m reminded of a story in 2 Samuel when the Art of the Covenant, the very place the spirit of the Lord was housed came into Jerusalem and when he saw it, King David danced. He danced and celebrated and was incredibly carefree., but his wife Michal despised him for it. She saw him dancing and because she thought it was inappropriate she shamed him, but instead of stopping, hanging his head and shame, and containing his excitement, he said,
” It was before the LORD, therefore I will celebrate before the LORD. Samuel 6:21
It’s all about God’s goodness and provision for King David. His joy came not from what others thought of him. I love that. I wish when I looked at my dancing for the first time, I remembered why dancing is a subversive act of joy for me in body that is bigger than it’s ever been— I’m dancing to celebrate the Lord, his faithfulness, and well..because it’s fun.
Next week, I’ll try to be a bit more brave and post the video sooner in the day. I promise.