One by one the cute faces popped up on my screen. The chiming of the waiting room was full of curious little hands and minds who wanted to connect with their teacher. I systematically clicked through the admit buttons.
As I did, familiar and precious friends popped into view. Each of these faces had a story, each of these kids a name and a place in my heart. My new normal of teaching was hard, and exhausting but these moments made it worth it.
As we all talked at once, trying to get in the last word and hear each others latest adventures in the four walls of our homes, I was struck with the excitement and joy that poured through my screen. Closed behind doors, unable to play at the park, meet for playdates, or celebrate birthdays, these kids were still finding ways to connect.
I smiled as I quietly monitored conversations and watched reactions. The goofy kids were still making faces at the cameras. The quieter kids were taking it all in, and laughing at jokes. Those that were more outgoing were addressing each friend by name and trying to ask specific questions. Others were busy running to their rooms to bring back their latest creations or favorite stuffies.
There is some simplicity in this new normal. We are being forced to share and we are being forced to love in different ways. Kids are being shown how to respect others long distance and through technology. Parents are being asked, for a season, to let go of their own desires for their kids.
We are all growing and becoming dependent on one another, even from afar.
Then it happened. One of my students jumped up and exclaimed, “I want to dance for you”. And so, without embarrassment she performed her dance “which she typed, ‘I have never done before'” and we all laughed.
What is it in the middle of our greatest pains and struggles, we can get up and dance?
What makes us able to let loose and sing a song and laugh until we cry?
My simple answer…joy and Jesus. He brings this. These kids who have been quarantined in their homes for nearly 5 weeks are still able to dance for their friends on camera. Their joy is contagious and our Jesus is still bringing that happiness everyday to weary, tired souls.
David says in Psalms,
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever! (Psalm 30:11-12,ESV)
So, as I head into another weekend of quarantine, before I get frustrated over what I “can’t” do, I am going to try and remember what I can. Will you join me?
We can praise our God.
We can rejoice in blessings.
We can loosen our sackcloths.
We can sing with joy.
In a couple of hours I will be having a Zoom party with my sweet kiddos before sending them into the weekend. We are going to have our normal storytime and sharing. But today, I am throwing in something different.
We are going to pump up God’s Great Dance Floor by Chris Tomlin, and we are gonna dance. We have a great God and He turns all our mourning into dancing!! He never stops loving us!