"[He will] give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness..." Is 61: 3
I read the most heartwarming story this morning written by David Waters in the Commercial Appeal. Rev. Randall Mullins and his wife, Sharon, had been given a devastating diagnosis. Rev. Mullins had been diagnosed with the terminal, neurological disease of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He was told in January that if he didn't stop eating and drinking and resort to a feeding tube that he could very well choke to death. He opted for further tests. In June, they traveled to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where he underwent a battery of tests.
Now if you know anything about ALS you know that it is a debilitating disease. It progresses rather quickly, paralyzing the patient until he can do little more than move his eyes.
So you would think if you had been diagnosed with this disease, had undergone more tests than you'd ever had in your life, and you were anxiously awaiting the results, the last thing you would be thinking about would be dancing!
Yet as Randall and Sharon waited on the results from the Mayo physicians, that is exactly what they did. It seems that in the Mayo clinic atrium was a piano and when the pianist began to play the Patsy Cline song, Crazy, in Randall's words "What could we do? It was the first song we had ever danced to and the song we danced to at our wedding nine years and one month to the day before." So like a scene from a Hollywood movie, they danced! "Randall put down his briefcase filled with doctors reports and test results, took me in his arms, and danced me all over that floor. I have to say , it was glorious! I only had eyes for him, but when it was over and folks were applauding, we became acutely aware of how many people gathered around were in wheelchairs or were with those who were."
Now I don't know about you, but for this romantic, that just melted my heart!! But beyond the romance of it, was the fact that in the midst of difficult circumstances, they still had joy. That joy was not born of optimism but of faith in the One who would see them through no matter what the outcome of those tests. It was the same joy we saw in Trey Erwin and his family as they walked through their ordeal and we were awed by it. It is not natural. It is born of the supernatural, it is born of faith in a God who will never forsake you even in the midst of life's most difficult and devastating circumstances.
Randall and Sharon's dance story did not end with that dance, however. Two days later they received the news from Mayo that Randall did NOT have ALS! He still has a battle before him, but it is not fatal. As they were leaving, they walked back through the same atrium as a man sat at the piano playing "He Touched Me". They got all the way to the exit and realized that they had to go back and dance one more time. "We had to go back and dance our prayer of gratitude" said Sharon. They asked the pianist if he would mind if they danced. His reply was "DANCE!" "So we twirled and spun and improvised with great JOY".
Randall and Sharon, both in their 60's will be dancing at their son's wedding this weekend!
There was a country song recorded by Lee Ann Womack a few years ago, entitled "I Hope You Dance". I hope you will watch the video below and listen to the words. And most of all.....I hope when life hands you difficult circumstances, you will hold on to the God of all hope and joy and that you DANCE!!!!!!!!!!!!
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