Monday, December 21, 2009
what do you get the person who has everything?
i first saw this video a couple of days ago. i'm not a huge oprah fan. i'm not a huge oprah critic. i just don't pay much attention. however, this video brought me great joy. i thought to myself "self...there is a person who could buy anything in this world, but she couldn't buy that." and it showed on her face. she's got, what, a billion billion billion? and yet...21,000 people dancing for her. not just dancing like "woohoo! i'm at oprah's shindig!", but learning a dance that was part of a surprise gift to her from her staff and the Black Eyes Peas.
if you watch her reaction, you'll see they succeeded in the surprise. i think you'll also see that she's seeing something she just could not have created. she could have assembled 21,000 people. she could have paid them to dance for her. but that would have been buying the love. she could have asked them to dance for her. they would have. but, still, it would have been asked for, and expected. of course they would dance for her if she asked. she's oprah and they love her.
but there's something deeper in all of this. first, whatever one's personal feelings about oprah may be, the people who pulled this off, the people who taught, and the people who learned...they sought to do something not asked for. they looked for a way to express how they felt without payment or request. and the result shows in oprah's eyes and smile and body language. it's going out of one's way to express the joy and love that they have for someone.
there's something else. where i come from dance was sort of a no no. dancing caused pregnancy, i think was the general line of thinking. i always wondered about that...partly because i wanted to be relatively normal (a lost cause, i'm sure) but mostly because i saw so many references to it in the Bible which was supposed to be the basis for the faith in which i was growing up. i don't think i knew it then, but this is what i think i missed. there is a joy and unity coming from this celebration that causes all other divisions to cease existing for a few moments. the people dancing cross probably nearly every cultural and subcultural line we could ever think to draw between us...color, creed, economic status, gender, faith, etc, etc...and for a few hours learning and a few minutes dancing they ignore it all. it is humanity as it is supposed to be. united and with a common goal...celebration and praise and worship. and that got me to thinking about one more level of what i see here.
someday, i believe that a part of my eternity is going to look a lot like that, only milllions and billions of people in the crowd, with some pretty amazing worship leaders calling the crowd together. and while God will likely not be surprised by anything, i do believe the expressions might not be all that different as His people, not for payment or for being asked, celebrate, praise,and worship the One who has given life so easily to the greatest of gods we exalt on earth down to the smallest of those we neglect while giving up that exaltation. and we will dance in unison, people from every tribe and tongue, and the whole earth will be filled with His glory.
that's gonna be fun!