By Pastor Rhoda Klen Miller
Couples planning weddings this summer can celebrate by busting a move once more, provided its in an open-air venue. I know one couple who postponed their nuptuals until these restrictions were lifted because they couldn’t imagine the occasion without a romantic first dance or flash mob choreography. Even more unfortunate was how this precaution was impacting seniors in Newfoundland. Despite residents being fully vaccinated, care homes still faced a dance prohibition that prevented their cultural, social and physical enrichment. That recently changed after a protest video from Alderwood Retirement Center in Witless Bay went viral. Grooving and shuffling to the theme song ‘Footloose’ elders and staff at the home managed to catch the attention of the provincial health minister who then rescinded the ban. The news inspired Nora, at 101 years of age, to promptly take hold of her walker and dance the Newfounland jig. With patience, persistence and panache these seniors were triumphant in their quest to reclaim their joy-inducing activity. Perhaps this pandemic has stripped you of your joy too, compromising your health, ending a career or dissolving a relationship. We have an Enemy working hard to disconnect us from true joy so we will fall for the lures of escapism from our resulting sorrow. Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! If these persevering grandparents don’t encourage you, consider the inspiration from an ancient poet who wrote: “You did it God! You turned my deepest pains into joyful dancing; You stripped off my dark clothing and covered me with joyful light. You have restored my honor. My heart is ready to explode, erupt in new songs! Eternal One, my God, my Life-Giver, I will thank You forever.” (Psalm 30:11-12 The Voice) For more reflections on finding “joy in the journey” check out the Wave Tent presentations for Virtual Camp Meeting 2021.