A dance that showed me what real love looks like

I have friends who adopted a little girl from another country, and their child has some significant disabilities that require her to wear a brace on her leg. You would think that fitting braces for a child’s leg wouldn’t be a difficult thing, but it has actually been a long process that has been debilitating and painful for her.

What strikes me, however, is the joy with which my friends diligently work to rehabilitate their daughter’s leg and the joy she she has her parents do so.

In my favorite example, the mother posted a video of her daughter using her braces to dance around the living room to a worshipful song. Despite the girl’s struggle to use an uncooperative leg, she beamed while moving across the hardwood floor as gracefully as she could. What was just as beautiful as her dance was the sound of her mother behind the camera emotionally saying, “Wow! I’m so proud of you!”

All believers have been adopted into the family of God (Romans 8:15). We come with imperfections, with brokenness that will take years to rehabilitate.

Our journey is painful and embarrassing at times, and it’s easy to feel like we’re the only ones who struggle. But when we move in acts of worship – no matter how humble they may be – it is beautiful in our Father’s eyes.

Our repeated attempts to forgive an unrepentant offender . . . they are beautiful.

The awkward attempt to encourage a depressed coworker . . . lovely.

That simple, helpless prayer, “Lord, I believe – help my unbelief” . . . it moves Him.

None of our offerings are perfect, but they are all lovely. And what makes them lovely is our Father’s love for us. We are the children He called worthy; adopted; and taught to dance, one step at a time. To us, in the midst of our broken and imperfect efforts, He nonetheless exclaims, “Wow! I’m so proud of you!”

If you like this post, check out my new book, “Confessions of a Happily Married Man,” which includes observations about how God works in the ordinary of marriage. And if you’d like to receive a weekly, spam-free email about finding God in the ordinary of life, you can sign up here