Dancing in the Courtyard

Author: Hannah Howe — Host: Andrew StevensPosted on: July 23, 2021

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens
Dancing in the Courtyard

My sandals brush the street as I walk the familiar way to the tavern. I always walk a little faster when I pass by the open door of the King’s courtyard, keeping my gaze on my dusty toes. But today, something catches my eye. Blue fabric ripples like water in the sun. I look up and see the blue belongs to a woman’s sari, and she’s dancing in the courtyard. And I recognize her. I’ve seen her before— where? Then I gasp. “That’s Mira,” I thought. What is she doing dancing for the King? Memories tumble inside my head of Mira dancing in the tavern, where the air is hot and close and dark. But the way Mira dances now is different. Not like she’s trying to prove anything. Not like she’s trying to forget anything. The way Mira dances now is captivating. Her graceful movements seem controlled but not restricted. Mira seems free. The blue fabric slows and softly settles, and Mira bows to the King. His smile is the happiest I’ve ever seen, like Mira is His own daughter, like He cherishes her more than anything in the world. Then the King looks at me. He says something to Mira, and she turns toward me. Then she skips, barefoot, across the courtyard to where I’m standing in the street. I think of the tavern and the relief waiting for me there, but I am entranced by this new Mira in blue, who shines like water in the sun. Mira greets me by name, “Inaaya, it’s so good to see you.” Her smile is genuine. “The King would love to meet you. Would you like to meet Him?” I look down at my dusty feet, memories of all the things I wanted to forget suddenly rushing and pressing in around me, crushing me, and I feel the pull stronger inside, tugging me toward the tavern. “Why would the King want to see me?” I didn’t mean to say it out loud. But when I look up, Mira’s eyes are so soft. She says again, “He wants to meet you, Inaaya. He wanted to meet me too. And you know me; you saw me cheat and lie and take and the King already knew all of it. But ” Her eyes are shining with a brightness I’ve never known. “He’s different from anyone I’ve ever met. He loves me, in a way that’s giving, not taking.” Over Mira’s shoulder, I glance at the King, standing in the courtyard, waiting. “It’s alright if you’re not ready today,” Mira says, “but He does want to meet you, Inaaya, and I would love to introduce you to Him.” I feel my feet starting to move me away down the street, but then I look back, and I see the King is gazing at me like no one ever has before. With compassion. “Could it be true?,” I thought. I hold still. Mira stretches out her hand. “Could it really be true?” I breathe in. Place my hand in hers. Take a step into the courtyard. • Hannah Howe • Have you ever felt like Inaaya, like you needed to forget, or to escape? • Why do you think Mira seemed free (Psalm 51)? • How did Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, make a way for us to be free, clean, and full of joy? Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. Ephesians 5:25b-27 (NIV)


Read Verses:

Psalm 149:1-4; John 4:1-42