You are the Dance

Some days, I want to be a poet or songwriter, or at least good storyteller – because I know that if I’m going to influence our culture’s core sense of who we are, where we’ve been, and where we’re going, then nonfiction, essay-style is about the worst way to seep deeply into the bones of people! But mostly, I want to be able to give voice to the stirrings in my own heart.

Sometimes, I take some faltering steps in a verse-writing direction. This is one of those times. I imagine the song below sounding something like Kevin Prosch‘s song ‘The Wheel of God‘ (sorry, I couldn’t find any audio online). The lyrics are inspired by some delving I’ve been doing into what Phyllis Ticklecalls one of the deepest mysteries the Christian faith has been called to steward – the revelation of God-as-community, the perfect Relationship: the Trinity. My own sense of the fellowship of Godhead was nurtured in my ‘church life‘ (aka house/organic/simple church) days by voices like Frank Viola in From Eternity to Here or Milt Rodriguez in The Community Life of God. This haunting sense of the significance of Trinity as the prime metaphor for God was deepened in my emerging church engagement via Ian Mobsby‘s TheBecoming of G-D, among other sources. And of course, there’s that little book that Iendorsed, Paul Young’s The Shack, with its marvelous and subversive portrait of a God who defers in love to each portion of Godself, and wishes to make their “especially fond” fellowship planetary in scope.

Most recently, I’ve been experiencing a veritable Trinitarian renaissance while doing the dishes, which is happening a bit morefrequently these days as my wife recovers from some minor surgery. This is thanks to both Baxter Kruger‘s amazing teaching – in book form in The Great Dance, & in MP3 form via Grace Communion International‘s free seriesDancing with the Trinity – and two awesome teaching series from Richard Rohr (on the latter joined by Cynthia Bourgeault): The Divine Dance and The Shape of God. I’ve begun to see both Trinity-as-Relationship and Trinity-as-Process as holding both the promise and the delivery of transformative change of most significant spiritual, political, and ecological crises of our time. We get to enter into the shared life of God and creation, and from this three-fold perspective break out of our dead-end, binary thinking into true metanoia, a renewed frame of mind and living.

Enough prose already! Let’s get into the poetry.

Yours is the flow

That created kindness

You are the Dance

That ignites all Light

You are the Three

Who contain all Oneness

In You we gaze

With Single sight


You ground all things eternal

And kiss the earth with glad embrace

Christ the Son

In a world of sorrows

Transfigures pain with healing grace

Spirit of Love

Sows new creation

In every soil weak or strong

Your beloved

Mirrors every gesture

In this our wild,

Reconciling song!

God alone

There is no other

Apart from You what can take form?

You are the play in every atom


In You we’re born

This hour brings sorrow and challenge

Never before have we faced so much;

Upon Your goodness we’ll incarnate

Release our hands for Your healing touch

Bound to You

We’re Your wounded healers

Binding earth

With heaven’s balm

Boundless here in realms unscripted

Tree of Life

Is your free-verse psalm

And so today we dance Your circle

Rhythm of life Your cadence grows;

Let the circle be unbroken

Drawing all in

To Your radiant flow.

It’s a work in progress. It reminds me of Jesus & Paul’s own probable spiritual practice of meditation on Ezekiel’s Chariot…eh?

Feel free recommend revisions and additional stanzas (not to mention maybe a chorus) in the comments below. If it gets polished, I’d like to introduce it to my home church – (appropriately enough)Trinity’s Place.

Further recommended reading:

8 Responses to “You are the Dance”

  1. 1 Kevin Knox October 1, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    It’s funny the degree to which we agree and disagree, Mike. I did enjoy your labor here, and especially liked:

    We’re Your wounded healers
    Binding earth
    With heaven’s balm


  2. 2 Wes Roberts October 2, 2011 at 5:16 am

    …great post, Michael…….!!!

    …thank you………………………………..!

  3. 3 zoecarnate October 2, 2011 at 8:55 pm

    Thank you both! 🙂

  4. 4 Jeff October 5, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    St. Patrick’s autobiographical “Confession” is a marvelous expression of a Trinitarian spirituality as he seamlessly flows from perception and experience and expression of one Person of the Trinity to another.

  5. 5 Jeff October 7, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Hey, Mike, you are already a story teller, telling the wonderful story of the crucified, resurrected Jesus who fills us with the Holy Spirit in the here and now, and will bring us into the loving presence of the Father both here and in eternity. It’s a story that we more readily tell than be, though the telling IS part of the being.

  6. 6 Lynda Meyers January 17, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    This is beautiful. And I agree that touching and impacting our culture is no longer the realm of non-fiction… Creative, inspired fiction, poetry, and music touches hearts so far beyond where logic can hope to follow… Keep going. Don’t stop…

  7. 7 Mike Lyle February 21, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    Are you aware of CSS/float: left, right, center format? ~ so that the images on your Web page don’t hog all the space, but yield to surrounding text. It may give your site a better look (in my opinion, unless you’ve consciously left the format out.
    We have a link to your site on ours, and appreciate your efforts and those of your friends to provide links to so many and myriad religious/spiritual alternatives.

  1. 1 Just Who Is Rejecting Whom Here? « American Parser Trackback on September 30, 2011 at 10:43 pm

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  • Friend of Emergent Village

    My Writings: Varied and Sundry Pieces Online

    Illumination and Darkness: An Anne Rice Feature from Burnside Writer's Collective
    Shadows & Light: An Anne Rice Interview in MP3 format from Relevant Magazine
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    Review: Untold Story of the New Testament Church by Frank Viola, from Next-Wave


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