“She was dying while I was dancing.” These are the classic movie words of Sarah Johnson, played by Julia Stiles in the 2001 MTV film,”Save the Last Dance.” She speaks these words as she is delivering her soul to the film’s love interest, her boyfriend Derek, played by Sean Patrick Thomas. In this romantic drama, two teenagers in love struggle to look past their differences. This interracial, cross-societal couple has you hooked from the gun, as you fall in love with them at first sight. The smart-looking pair is likeable, believe-able and loveable and their feelings for each other and dancing are palpable.
Is dancing a sport? All you dancers out there join in with me on this one: of course it is. To be a sport the activity must be active and the player or dancer must have a physical effort or skill. Dancers can absolutely check all of those boxes. Ballet dancing is difficult and demanding, challenging and commanding, and to pull it all off you have to push your way in and through and past your past and present and strive to achieve what lies ahead of you in the future. This is the story of the film as Sarah, at first overwhelmed by life, finally overcomes and triumphs in spite of death.
Jesus was dying while we were dancing – we were dancing and prancing and doing everything and anything we thought we were big and bad enough to do. The world was dancing to the beat of a different drum, while Jesus was dying for her sins. Remember, “God so loved THE WORLD.” We were so focused on what we wanted and what we fancied that we failed to realize that Jesus loved us and was rushing to meet us. But we were too self-absorbed to notice that His love and His death were all for us.
Dancing is a beautiful sport and it is what Sarah was born to do. And with the help of her coach, friend and love, she returned to the love of her life, ballet dancing, not just to honor her mother, but to fulfill her passion and her destiny. And we need coaches and friends and those who love and care about us and for us to lead us back to our first love. Make no mistake; God is man’s first love. And God is willing to stick with us even when we push him away. Sarah overcomes her rage, her remorse and her regret and stages a tear jerk of a comeback to dancing her way out of her darkness and into her dreams and her destiny.
So this Easter, remember that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. While we were dancing, He was dying so that we could dance for Him.