The Sufi master, Hafiz (1320-1389), is the most beloved poet of Persia. When he died he was thought to have written an estimated 5,000 poems, of which 500 to 700 have survived. In one of these poems he wrote that God only knows four words. Here is the poem:
Every child has known God,
Not the God of names,
Not the God of don’ts
Not the God who ever does anything weird,
But the God who only knows four words
And keeps repeating them, saying:
“Come dance with Me.”
Poets have license to express themselves any way they like to make a point. Certainly Hafiz has reminded us that our life with God is meant to be a dance, a relationship of joy. The Psalmist wrote, “Let them praise his Name in the dance; let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.” (Psalm 149:3) When David led the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, he danced before the Lord (2 Samuel 6:14). And in the New Testament dance is a natural part of the celebration of the return of the prodigal son (Luke 15:25).
The movement in dance expresses the whole person — body, mind, and spirit, and has found its place in celebrations and worship. It also expresses the relationship we are meant to have with God – one that activates our whole being, embraced in fluid affection in response to wonder and joy. The do’s and don’ts of law and tradition are not meant to stifle exuberant love.
We are invited to accept God’s invitation, “Come dance with Me.”