Red patterned light trickles across black curtains. A fanciful bouquet erupts on stage right: black-and-white-striped poles adorned with pink sparkly netting, fuzzy green puffs dripping with silver strands, orange tufts dotted with pink. Green cardboard-cut-out leaves ground the arrangement.
Expectant silence swells as the curtain draws. Lilting music evokes the changing moods of “My Many Colored Days.” Three dancers clad in green, blue, and pink tutus emerge into the Dr. Seuss-inspired whimsy of a spring recital.
Within seconds of sighting the girls, a collective holding of breath suspends a question, confirmed by spastic movements of the middle dancer. Sorrow glimmers for a moment, just an echo of the ache that her parents must have felt when they first realized their daughter’s challenges.
The two dancers on either side support the middle dancer. The dancers part ways. The oldest is a lithely swirling swan; the smallest wafts like a leaf in a gentle wind. The middle dancer crawls with great effort. They join again. The oldest steadies the middle dancer. The youngest holds her hand.
As the piece soars to completion, the three converge again in an ascending pyramid, the smallest in front, tallest in back. Trembling, face deeply furrowed in concentration, staccato bursts of sheer will lift the middle dancer’s arms. The collective yearning of those who watch is like a final tender breeze that lifts her recalcitrant limbs. Hands clasped above her head, triumphant joy floods her face and mirrors back from the audience. A persevering heart, set free.
Applause engulfs the cavernous room. It goes on and on. Tears are brushed from many a shining eye as darkness shrouds the stage.
In a reluctantly fading ovation, I hear the collective ache of ages. All around us, creation is crying out, yearning for who we were meant to be. We see it in changing seasons, waxing and waning of the moon, relentless cycle of birth and death. We feel it deep within ourselves. For brief seconds we celebrate freedom glimpses, yet they slip away. Somehow, we know we are meant for so much more than all of this.
Surely one day these fleeting moments will be realized as deposits for what is to come, when our persevering expectation enlarges into permanent reality.
“All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.” The Message, Romans 8:22-25
One day through Christ we shall be free, free indeed.
I am excited to share with you that limited edition fine art giclee prints of 50 are now available for both Longing to Be Free and Free Indeed. Both images are printed using archival inks on archival fine art papers by Reed’s Art & Imaging of Denver. The print image sizes are: Longing to Be Free, 13” x 18” and Free Indeed, 11 ¾” x 18”. Both prints include a 1” white deckled edge border and can be framed using standard-size frames. Each print is signed and numbered and includes a certificate of authenticity. Prints are $119, not including shipping (which will average about $11 including shipping materials) and not including framing. At least 10% of the selling price will support Sanctuary of Hope.
Prints are now available through Pamba Toto fine art prints.
Additionally, Summoned is also available in a limited edition.