Last weekend I found myself in the charming city of Hilversum in the Netherlands, speaking at a women’s conference on the wonderful-and-very-serious topics of redemption, justification and adoption. (I’m starting to write up some of the talks – click here for part of the justification talk, here for my post on one of the implications for us in church life, and if you have 43 minutes – click here to see the video of the first talk). If you’ve ever wondered what I look and sound like in person, here is talk 2 from the conference:
Looks like I have it all together, doesn’t it?
Well, let me share with you that just minutes after this talk finished, the women at the conference had organized a stretch-your-legs ice-breaker. All of us were asked to stand up and dance to the 15 second clip of music being played. The leader would then call “freeze” and we could laugh at the ridiculous poses we found ourselves in.
They played a waltz. We all laughed and 1-2-3-ed around the room. They played the can-can. We laughed some more and kicked our legs high into the sky. We did the twist. We did the robot. And then they played Gangnam Style, and before we had a chance to freeze the leader of the activity looked down on the sea of awkwardly writhing bodies, and she called me out. “You”, she said, “come up here and do Gangnam style for all of us.”
Are you kidding me?
But a girl’s got to do what a girl’s got to do, and so up I got and did my very best attempt at this:
Let me tell you, I did NOT have it all together. Whatever you’re imagining right now, let me assure you it was more awkward than that. MUCH laughter was had at my expense, and I blushed a very furious shade of scarlet. But when I returned to my seat, one of the women leaned over, still laughing, and said “Yes! Now you really belong to us!”
Which leads me to think: maybe sometimes the best gift we can give to people in helping them belong is to be the fool. To be the silly dancer. To be the one with the messy house. To be honest about not having it all together. To let others see you cry.
We feel we belong not when our very best self is accepted by others, but when we know our worst self, our failed self, our real-me-self is accepted by others.
Go ahead, I dare you. Do it Gangnam Style.