This Dance by Jerusha Agen
This week, Jerusha Agen and her character, Nye Sanders, from Jerusha’s novel, This Dance, have been our special guest on Inner Source. Jerusha Agen is a lifelong lover of story–a passion that has led her to a B.A. in English and a highly varied career. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, her fiction and nonfiction have been published in various journals, magazines, and newsletters. In addition, she is a screenwriter, and several of her original scripts have been produced as films. Jerusha is also a film critic, with reviews featured at the website, www.RedeemerReviews.com. Jerusha relishes snowy Midwest winters spent with her large, furry dogs and one little, furry cat.
Visit Jerusha’s website at www.SDGwords.com. Follow Jerusha on Twitter @SDGwords and Facebook (Jerusha Agen – SDG Words).
If you look up “introvert” in the dictionary, you might find a picture of me. Being an introvert doesn’t mean that I’m shy (anyone who knows me could tell you I am anything but). It does mean that being with others takes energy out of me. After interacting with others, I need alone time to recharge. While I cherish my family and the special friendships I have, being an introvert means that I don’t always feel like engaging in relationships.
You might think that shouldn’t be a problem. After all, if I don’t feel like it, or if I don’t enjoy it, I shouldn’t have to get involved in relationships, right? It’s a free country. Nice thought, but there’s just one problem. I’m a dancing Christian.
Many years ago, I was happily getting in touch with my introvert desires, neglecting relationships and avoiding them when I could because I just didn’t have the energy or inclination to be social. Then I heard a sermon that changed my life. In that message, Dr. Timothy Keller, a pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City, said “There is a dance, and the greatest need of your life is to get into that dance.”
What did he mean? Believe it or not, Keller was talking about the Trinity—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. C.S. Lewis once wrote, “in Christianity God is not a static thing—not even a person—but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance.”
The Trinity, a confusing doctrine for many people, had always puzzled me a bit. The doctrine of the Trinity is undeniable from Scripture, yet it’s hard to understand the existence of one God, but three persons who are all equally that one God. When I heard this explanation of the Trinity as a dance, however, it was like God turned on the light bulb in my head.
In John 8:54, Jesus Himself says, “If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me.” From this and other passages, the Bible’s depiction of God becomes clear—God is three Persons, constantly encircling and glorifying each other in a continuous movement of glorification that can aptly be described as a dance. At the center of Christianity, then, is a God who is equally individual and interpersonal.
Friedrich Nietzsche is quoted as saying, “I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance.” Thankfully, my God and Father is the one who created dancing and has been in an eternal dance of relationship for all eternity. I am thankful for this truth because understanding the Trinity is not just random intellectual knowledge. There is an application to this reality that, if you’re like me, you may not like at first.
Because our God is both individual and relational, we as individuals are called to be involved in relationships with others. The importance of relationships is emphasized throughout Scripture, from the command to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) to the many passages on being in the body of believers (the church). For me, those passages were easier to ignore or extrapolate only other aspects of meaning. The fact, however, that relationships are so central to our creation, our purpose, and God Himself is too much to ignore.
Nye Sander’s story from my novel, This Dance, has driven this point home for me and provided an opportunity to expose readers to this topic. Nye is a former dancer who wants nothing more to do with dance in the literal sense, since she walked away from a dancing career. Spiritually, she is also refusing to be part of what C.S. Lewis calls “the Great Dance,” by rejecting God and avoiding relationships with others.
Like Nye, I didn’t want to dance. I didn’t understand who God really is or understand how crucial being in relationships with others is to my ability to glorify God. Since glorifying God and being satisfied in Him is the purpose of my life, I want to become the best dancer I can be.
What does Nye decide to do? Pick up a copy of This Dance to find out.
No love, no pain. No God, no games.
A tragedy three years ago destroyed Nye’s rise to the top of the dancing world as an upcoming tango star, and in the process destroyed her reason for living. She survived the pain and built a new life resembling nothing like the one she left behind, determined never to hurt again.
Nye’s emotional walls hold up perfectly until she meets a handsome lawyer and an elderly landowner. They seem harmless, but one awakens feelings she doesn’t want and the other makes her face the God she can’t forgive. Will these two men help Nye dance again?
This Dance maybe ordered from Amazon.com.
To read the Inner Source interview with Jerusha, click here.
To read the Inner Source interview of Nye Sanders, click here.