“That was so holy…”

by Janis Gaines


“That was so holy,” he choked through his tears. He was weeping for my pain. Three days earlier a man had broken into my home in the middle of the night and raped me at gunpoint. And yet, on Sunday, I was at the Vineyard Airport Church in Nashville, dancing before the Lord with great passion and abandon, truly grateful to be alive and free to worship that way. Normally, I and a few other women would dance, unobtrusively, sometimes with banners, in the back of the auditorium. This wasn’t about being seen, but about loving Him, expressing it, feeling it — heart, soul, mind, and strength. For me, it was always about victory.

But on this Sunday, the worship leader had called the dancers to the front. And afterwards, this man approached me. He honored me with his words and with his tears. For a moment, he bore my burden, one that would become heavier over the ensuing weeks and years as the aftermath of rape would prove to be just as rude and merciless as the act. In time and through circumstances, I no longer danced. I had to learn again how to live in the world and trust God, and only just recently has dance returned to me — in baby steps.  When I remember that time, now so long ago, I am encouraged by his words that spoke life to me that day, unexpectedly, sacredly, reminding me that my life matters. That was so holy.

*** I shared this post with my friend today and he said this, which honors me all over again: Yes, i remember very well. Such extraordinary freedom in your refusal to be devastated by hell itself. Thank you, Jonathan, you have a way with love and words. ~ Janis

© October 18, 2013
Asheville, NC