Posted by: Bob Clark | February 1, 2005

The Dancing Iraqis

Have you seen the video of the dancing Iraqis?

Many of the pictures and much of the video from the historic election have been captivating — the purple fingers, the tear welling up in an eye almost hidden by a veil, the lines forming outside polling places in spite of the death threats.

But nothing has fascinated me more than the video of the dancing Iraqis.

A large circle of men — some holding hands, others with arms entwined — and they are dancing. How do you describe it? There’s certainly nothing elegant about it. I seriously doubt anyone would call it sensual or sexual. People who are really into dancing would probably be reluctant to call it dancing at all, they are just barely moving their feet. But there is something about the dancing Iraqis that makes me want to watch it over and over.

Joy. It’s pure joy you can see in their eyes and on their faces and in their dance “moves.” The dancing Iraqis are celebrating and rejoicing.

High-fives, hollering, cheering, clapping I have experienced. But I have never expressed joyful celebration like the dancing Iraqis. That’s too bad.

Scripture is full of words like celebrate and rejoice. But in my life, including my church life, I have openly expressed joy far too little.

We have so much to be thankful for in our country. I would not want to live in Iraq right now. But I wish I could join the dancing Iraqis, if only for a few minutes. I know that’s never going to happen, so I guess I will just have to learn to better celebrate and express my joy.

Iraqi dancing, anyone?

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