This past Friday night, I had the opportunity to see the Nutcracker Ballet for the first time in over 20 years. It was at the lovely Fox Theater in Atlanta…a beautiful historic theater that beckons your eyes to soak in every nook and cranny of elegance, detail, and well-placed decor.
It was a lovely night, from beginning to end. The weather cooperated and cooled off with a chilly breeze just so it would feel more like Christmas. There were lights hung everywhere as we walked down the street, a saxophonist playing festive tunes on the street corner.
I felt a little bit like royalty all dressed up accompanied by my handsome boyfriend, my brother, and his wife.
We settled in our seats and a marvelous feast for the eyes and ears began! I loved the beginning of the ballet - the house party with hustle and bustle, a gorgeous Christmas tree in the backdrop. It evoked a feeling of nostalgia, of warmth, kindness, energy. There was family, friends, food, music, dancing, merriment. The stage was full of scenes to watch everywhere you looked.
The First Act was fun and entertaining to be sure, but the Second Act had me enraptured.
There were multiple dances between the lady ballerina and the man. A magical interplay of dancing with fluid movements of elegance, displaying incredible skill on both parts.
I began to think how I would even begin to describe such a dance.
That was it. Full of grace.
I thought, what else could be full of this kind of grace?
How do I know grace?
I was reminded of the Scripture from Psalm 103:8
"The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love."
He is gracious. Full of grace.
The free and unmerited favor of God.
Lavished on us.
And I began to look at the dance through a different light.
The gentleness. The strength. The knowing of each movement as it came next. It was familiar to them.
The man was bold and kind and sturdy, anticipating the movements of the woman, showing off her elegance and beauty as he lifted and twirled her. And she moved with such ease, such…well, grace.
And right there, before my very eyes, the grace in the dancers' movements were helping me see the characteristics of the grace God has towards us.
His kindness. His strength. His patience and knowing. His love.
It was simply beautiful.
I don't know if there's anything else in the world that better displays that much grace.
As you enter this week of Christmas, may you be aware of the presence of God. Enraptured by the knowledge that a holy and perfect God, who loves you with such love, would send His very own Son to earth as an infant child to live a perfect life that we could not live and die a death we deserved to die…so that we may have life…with Him.
A God who is compassionate. And full of grace. Slow to anger. Abounding in love.
Abounding. That means it's plentiful, abundant. Never ending.
That is the Love we are all gifted with and get to celebrate this Friday.
Maybe thank Him for the grace in your life. The grace that lifts you, twirls you.
The grace that is sturdy under your shakiness, strong under your weakness.
The grace that makes you beautiful and elegant.
He's right there, waiting for you to enter the dance.