However, I would have to say that the most vivid expression of the gospel during those three days did not occur during worship. It didn't occur during a Bible study, or even during tie-downs.
It occurred during a Swing Dance session.
Strange, huh? You see, after every day of the conference, an extracurricular activity was planned. On the second night, a swing dance session was scheduled. Two instructors taught around 200 fellow believers how to swing dance.
Every few minutes they would ask the students to switch partners. Great! There were lots of nice girls to dance with! My first partner was my sister, and she loved to dance! It was great, and I was catching on real well.
A few minutes passed, and the instructors asked us to dance with the next partner to our left. I looked over to the left, and I was supposed to dance with a girl with Down's Syndrome.
It was a little awkward, but half reluctantly I introduced myself. She was a little shy.
Her name was Amy.
I held her hand, and put my arm around her back. Her arm rested on mine.
Amy wasn't tall, so I had to crouch a bit when I put my arm around her and held her hand.
Amy was a bit clumsy, so I had to slow down as we danced.
Amy didn't catch on very quickly, so I had to re-teach her the steps.
I was there to have fun! I was here to dance with pretty girls, and now I had to dance with her. I was not frustrated with her, but I was challenged to keep a good attitude.
She knew she wasn't tall, but she stood straight.
She knew she was clumsy, but she tried her best.
She knew she didn't catch on very quickly, but she didn't quit.
She knew she wasn't the pretties girl in the room, but Amy smiled.
Goodness, how she always smiled. It was truly a beautiful smile.
Despite the immense challenges Amy was born with, she was still willing to dance. And she smiled. Even though I had to stoop down to her level, and couldn't advance as fast as I wanted to, at the end of the next rotation, Amy was still in my arms. She wasn't the best dancer, but she didn't quit. And Amy smiled.
I am Amy.
In 2012 I had my own share of struggles. They weren't because of enormous trials, but it was enough to discourage me. In fact, I can recall some days when I was very much dispirited. I wasn't going to quit, but I didn't know what to do next. Despite all this, God gave me strength to continue. Here I was, in Faith Walkers 2012. I made it another year, still holding on to Christ.
I was not a giant in the faith, so Jesus Christ sustained me when I needed it.
I was sometimes stubborn, so Christ had to slowdown when He was showing me things.
I was not a quick learner, so He had to re-teach me some lessons.
I know I wasn't the best Christian in 2012, but I was still in the arms of my Savior.
Despite the challenges I had in 2012, I was still willing to dance. I could not have been able to make it by myself, but when I didn't know what to do next, Christ led me. Even though Jesus had to stoop down to my level, and couldn't teach me everything He wanted, at the end of 2012, I was still in His arms. I didn't quit. I wasn't the best Christian, but I didn't quit. I don't know if I smiled.
You have also given me the shield of Your salvation;Your right hand has held me up,Your gentleness has made me great.
In 2012, salvation was my shield, because I can not protect myself.
His hand helped me up, because I can not stand alone.
His gentleness made me great, because alone I would be miserable.
That is the gospel. We couldn't make it on our own, just like Amy couldn't dance by herself. And although at times I felt impatient with Amy, God reached down with perfect love and perfect patience. If we are willing, He will put his arm around us, hold our hand, and dance with us. His love ultimately displayed on the cross, making an intimate relationship with us possible. He made a way for us to dance with Him.