Playdates with God: One Tiny Move Closer

God is a community.
That’s what my pastor says.
And I remember the dance, that word—perichoresis—that the church fathers used to describe this unique community. Perichoresis, from the Greek peri-, meaning around and –chorein, to dance. A beautiful picture of the way the Three Persons indwell each other and yet move through and around each other in a divine dance.
And I carry this image with me into prayer group and during the sharing of stories, I listen. It is the bow of the dance, the gentle taking of the hand—this listening—and we are a community.
We dance.
I close my eyes and feel the sway, the way this being together can be lithe and beautiful. But as the stories do their telling, one thing rings true: we’ve all been hurt by church. We’ve all been damaged and changed by the dance.
I was looking for the reality of God in the lives of people, my friend says. I knew God as my Father but I didn’t want to be taken in by Christians again. My Christian life has been a search for authenticity…
As tears well in her eyes I feel mine begin to sting and I wonder, how can a beautiful dance go so wrong? And how in the world do we find the rhythm again?
I am learning just how common this is and I am realizing that this kind of hurt is part of the journey, but if I want to join in the dance—then I must join in fully. Because it is when there is holding back—when I hesitate—this is when the dance falters.
To join in the dance of God means to love as he loves. Unabashedly, unashamed.
Do I know how to dance this way?
This is the question I ask myself and I feel that holy dance surround me and I reach across the arm of the couch and I take my friend’s hand.
Because joining in this dance fully starts with one move. One tiny move closer.
*The winner of The Novelist giveaway is Shannon of Swirly Girl! Congratulations, Shannon. If you send me your snail, I’ll have Amazon send you a copy ASAP!

How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:

The Playdates button:


  With Michelle: 

Sharing with Laura Barkat today also: 

On In Around button


  1. Ro elliott says

    to be willing to dance when our toes have been trampled on…but He does ask us to dance with HIm…and as we dance with our eyes fixed on our True dance partner…we will be able to take those tiny steps to dance with His body. and may we be all found living authentic lives…this is really what the searching worlds longs to see…something so different and real than what they are living and seeing around them. happy Monday to you…blessings as we dance

  2. JosephPote says

    Beautiful metaphors, here, Laura!
    Yes, it is a dance. Yes, it does go horribly wrong. Yes, it is difficult rejoining the dance after being hurt.
    One promise that has helped me, “As much as you have done it for the least of these, you have done it unto me.”
    That promise makes it all worth the risk. Even when my love is rejected by others, it is accepted by Him! Even when things go horribly wrong, He understands, appreciates me, and loves that I have loved.

  3. says

    It is with JOY that I am back here linking up. I’ve missed this space, Laura. I love how you have written here, and as someone who is passionate about community, especially women’s community, I hear what you are saying. It’s the getting beyond ourselves and really seeing the other person, no matter what they might behold.

  4. says

    I love the dance of the Trinity…loving and serving one another. And I love that they wanted us to join in the dance they have enjoyed for all eternity. May we dance as they do, serving one another with love. Beautiful post!

  5. messymarriage says

    Yes, Laura, this is so true! When we keep in step with the Father, we avoid stepping on each other’s toes–and worse. I will remember this analogy today and focus on who my dance partner really is, so that I don’t miss a beat.

  6. says

    Thank you, Laura, for a new word-picture of Christian community. Yes, sometimes in the learning we step on each other’s toes and knock heads and trip each other up. We keep practicing in expectation that Someday we will dance without looking at our feet and counting steps.

  7. Alicia@the Overflow! says

    Absolutely beautiful as always, Laura. I so often forget that i just need to take one step at a time- instead I try to perform a whole routine and fall flat. Love the way you see the church- the way you ARE the church. Blessings to you this week, friend.

  8. lindalouise says

    It is so true Laura – we have all been hurt. But we can’t let it keep us from joining in the dance. The church is made up of imperfect people. The act of reaching out, the one small thing – I love that.

  9. Jennifer Dougan says

    Hi Laura,

    That God-community piece is such a delicate, fraught with peril dance… hmm. Thanks for touching on this. I was just writing a piece on this that will be guest-posted elsewhere sometime soon. I’ll try to link it up here if I remember. 🙂

    Blessings, friend.

    Jennifer Dougan

  10. Erica Hale says

    oh, this really touched my heart. That tearful conversation…God has me in a place where religion has left so many people scarred, afraid to trust a God whose prophets left bruises that are still tender after many, many years. To see God’s community as a gentle dance, a loving embrace rather then a burden…what a change and what a blessing this brings. I love the image of the “gentle taking of the hand,” how we can learn the steps together.

  11. soulstops says

    always appreciate your gentle and beautiful invitation to keep dancing…thanks, sweet Laura…still praying 🙂

  12. Amy Anderson says

    Beautiful, gentle, and wise~ I appreciate your thoughts, images, and the way you express it all. Reaching to take your friend’s hand is the perfect picture of that one step. Hurtful history can make each step we take or allow such an act of bravery. I feel freedom as I read this and remember it is just one tiny step closer, no leaping required for my non-leaping ways. Blessings.

  13. says

    What a great thought – God is a community, the 3 in 1. And to embrace the dance, the journey, no matter what the road looks like. Your posts provide the music we can dance to. Thank you for sharing your gift with us all. Hugs!

  14. says

    I’m so glad it spoke to you, Erica. We have struggled long with wounds from our church. I am finding that the love is deeper if we push through. But some wounds? I just don’t know how to stitch them closed. Thanks for stopping by, friend.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *