Mary Swann and Yvonne McGraw have taken an active leadership role in forming the Pee Dee Baptist Association Health Coalition. They have been gathering at least once a month since December 2011 to talk about health and faith.
During their most recent gathering in May, members of the coalition did something different. They praised dance for God and to exercise their bodies, and I was fortunate to be there to join in.
We opened up in prayer, and got our blood pumping with Mary Mary’s “It’s the God in Me”. You could hear cheers from everyone egging each other on with laughs and smiles. There were no prescribed dance moves announced, we just stood up and allowed each person to make their own decision for how they would dance to the music. People danced in the form of rocking from side to side while standing, or hands held up high and waving, or legs and arms moving any kind of way. After a couple of songs, the music slowed down, and the focus shifted off of each other and on to God. It was the song “Altar” by Kirk Franklin that brought people to their knees in worship, or off in a corner with their hands high, or just standing crying out to God. Our praise dance was all about our walk with God and the benefits reaped for our bodies.
Everyone left with a smile and full of hugs from each other.
As I drove home that evening I was excited about the possibility of what was to come. My heart was filled with the revelation that I needed to fast and pray for the next steps that we are to take. It was an amazing time, and no preparation could have produced the success that we experienced. It was all God!
All I know is that God has a plan for our spiritual and physical bodies—and it can include praise dancing!
— Joy Williams, PHW Regional Coordinator
Partners in Health and Wholeness is an initiative of the NC Council of Churches. Please visit our website to view more resources on health and faith.