The body is beautiful by ProQuest

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The bodies in my dance class are middle-aged or older. Meeting these bodies on the street or sitting beside them in the church pew, one might not see the grace and loveliness that they hold. There's the usual as- sortment of grey and thinning hair, round tummies and wrinkled skin that we associate with "experienced" persons. But when the music plays and the people in these bodies dance and whirl with their partners, it takes my breath away. Like Cinderella's dazzling gift from her fairy godmother, these ordinary bodies become suddenly transformed into beautiful dancers, gliding elegantly around the floor.Joining the dance can be a stretch. Many, but not all, Mennonites grew up with a teaching that dance is sinfuL Moreover, many of us picked up from our parents or churches that bodies are sinful. We heard more about bodies needing to be restrained and disciplined and held in check than we heard about the God-bestowed beauty and pleasure of our bodies. In Psalm 139, the Song of Solomon and other places, the Bible bears witness to the body as beautiful. How do we join with the psalmist in testifying, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made"?. (Psalm 139:14a).

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									                                                                                Canadian Mennonite March 2, 2009                 9


E Sichuan church writes                                    quake. The following note of appreciation to those who
letter of appreciation                                     supported the congregation was provided by Mennonite
                                                           Partners in China workers Todd and Jeanette Hanson.
Like many other churches in Sichuan, China, the            —Ed.
Anxian Church is struggling to cope with the aftermath
of the 2008 earthquake. The church building suffered       Greetings in our Lord!
extensive damage from the quake and whether or not           At this time, the serious earthquake in Wenchuan
it can be repaired is still undergoing assessment. As      has affected many areas of Sichuan, and the people
congregants struggle to cope with their own challenges,    have suffered great difficulties. The churches in
they are embracing others who have flooded into the        Sichuan have also suffered from this disaster, we here
area from mountain valleys virtually wiped out by the      in Anxian perhaps the greatest.


                                    Family Ties
                                                                                        Many, but not all, Mennonites grew

    The body is beautiful                                                               up with a teaching that dance is sinful.
                                                                                        Moreover, many of us picked up from
                                                                                        our parents or churches that bodies are
                                                                                        sinful. We heard more about bodies
                                   Melissa Miller
                                                                                        needing to be restrained and disciplined
                                                                                        and held in check than we heard about


L
       ast month, I wrote about ballroom our tango included a set of fast turns, we the God-bestowed beauty and pleasure
       dance lessons. The music, touch     looked more like hopeless caricatures        of our bodies. In Psalm 139, the Song
       and movement of dance make          of dancers, with our limbs flopping as       of Solomon and other places, the Bible
these lessons a weekly highlight. A sur-   loose as rag dolls. After each set, we burst bears witness to the body as beautiful.
prise benefit has been the beauty.         into laughter—perhaps with embarrass-        How do we join with the psalmist in testi-
   The beauty has a lot to do with the hu- ment, or with relief that we hadn’t hurt     fying, “I am fearfully and wonderfully
man body. I’ve been caught by this beauty our partners or fallen on our faces. But      made”? (P
								
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