Contemplation on the Dance Floor

dancing - illustration

This post is based on Week Four of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure.

In the Second Week of the Spiritual Exercises, Ignatius invites us to imagine looking at the world with God’s-eye view—to gaze upon the whole of humanity in the moment before the Incarnation. We are invited to pay attention to what affectively arises when we observe the triune God gazing at the world and responding in love. This week, I connected most fully with this contemplation not during my structured prayer time, but instead in the experience of observing a dance floor.

My husband and I were asked to serve as the (very amateur!) DJs for the annual dance with our local L’Arche community. (L’Arche is an international organization in which adults with and without intellectual disabilities share life together.) Armed with our must-play song list, we joined our L’Arche friends in the basement of a church hall decked with crepe paper hearts and banners, a potluck, and a punch bowl.

From my vantage point behind the DJ table, I could see the entirety of the dance floor: people of all ages, all intellects, and all abilities together. It was a crowded, loud, exuberant, messy place to be, with limbs and wheels and grins every which way. Seeing this perspective of the dance floor embodied this week’s prayer for me.

I imagined looking upon the world—one where brokenness and wholeness, burden and joy, exist together—and I experienced a heartfelt knowledge of God’s love for this complicated muddle of humanity. As I observed the dance floor, I experienced a felt-sense of also being seen, being observed, and being cared for by a relational God who has chosen to enter into the mess with us. Unlike a DJ, God does not watch from the perimeter of the dance floor; God joins in the dance.

From this vantage point—God’s-eye view—we too are moved with love and called to participate in God’s redemptive work.

About Elizabeth Eiland Figueroa 11 Articles

Elizabeth Eiland Figueroa is a clinical social worker in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from Boston College, she joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest and served in Seattle at a community mental health agency. Inspired by her experience as a JV, she moved to St. Louis to pursue a Master’s in Social Work and studied the integration of spirituality and psychotherapy. She continues to marvel at God’s movements in her life.

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