I sat with a Martini glass in hand, sipping a pre-dinner drink.
The piano and violin cast a spell as I watched a mother hold her toddler close and whisk her across the dance floor. I was mesmerized, caught, captured. They danced to an instrumental version of Strangers in the Night, and I felt as though I was watching myself as a stranger. The mother I’ve never been with the daughter I’ve never had.
It was beautiful. Not sad, yet haunting.
And then the father stepped out on the floor and swept up his young babe. All at once, as I sat spellbound, I was the daughter, not the dancer. I was being spun in the air and tossed in time with the music. I could feel her giggle well up in my own soul as they twirled and danced.
It was as though I was watching a dance that was of my own young years. I had a Daddy who danced with me. Not literally you understand, as my sister is the true dancer in the family and I am a better wall-flower. But he was a Daddy who played, and who told me I was beautiful every day, including – and maybe especially – through the long awkward years.
When the father on the dance floor got down on one knee, down on her level, without complaint or groan, I saw all the times my father did the same for me. And still does.
And all at once, the images changed again. Heaven whispered in my ear, reminding me that my memories as a beloved child are just a glimpse of how God sees me. That He, too, is a Daddy who twirls and delights and patiently lifts up the little girl with outstretched arms who says “Again, Daddy, please … “
I don’t know if there’s anything more powerful than being a beloved daughter.
One song. One dance. Three images that moved me to tears. Three images that stirred the depths of both loss and gain.
The bar napkin had to suffice to dab my eyes when their dance ended. Because I know mine hasn’t.
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dancing Daddies of the world – you are a great image-bearer of God Himself.