I didn’t dare blink. If I blinked, the tears were going to fall, but if I could keep my eyes opened, it just looked like I had allergies. And so I kept my increasingly watery eyes glued to the stage. Without warning, the acoustic guitarists, drummers, and maraca shakers took their instruments and left to make room for a surprise Latin dancing couple.
My husband and I came to this Latin festival so he and his guitar group could perform. We both thought it was purely a music festival with numerous groups coming from all over the state to play different styles of music from every Latin country. My husband’s group plays a Brazilian style of guitar called Bossa Nova.
So it was unexpected when the music changed from acoustic and live to a heavy, stereo music. I felt it before I heard it, which I know sounds crazy because most of my body is paralyzed. But I felt the music come through the floor and vibrate up through my wheelchair and go straight into my heart. I recognized it immediately as Latin Dancing music. A Mambo.
The last time I had heard Latin Dancing music was when I was one of the dancers. I did many styles of ballroom when I walked, but Latin was my favorite and I was often, at least once a week, at the Latin dancing clubs. I loved all the different styles of Latin dancing – Tango, Cha Cha, Rumba, Merengue… but Mambo was the most fun of all. But being paralyzed several years before changed all of that and I now had so much less – less body movement and much less fun. And now, what I couldn’t do anymore was swishing and prancing and parading right in front of me. It was as if life was saying, Here is joy and you can’t touch it. Have fun with your life lesson on less.
And then the tears came. I didn’t dare look at my husband, or our friends, or anyone else. I didn’t dare blink. I didn’t even dare hardly move. I just forced myself to watch them dance even though it made my aching heart feel as if it would explode.
I started to pray in my heart. Beg, is the more appropriate word. I asked Heavenly Father Please, please please. Just one more time. I promise I won’t ask for anything as long as I LIVE! Just let me get up and dance with them…
I’m not exactly sure what would have happened had Heavenly Father blessed me with the thing I wanted at the time that I wanted it. Would I have just leaped from my wheelchair and raced to the stage? Would I have pushed the girl out of the way and asked if I could cut in?
But as it was, Heavenly Father didn’t bless me with the thing that I wanted at the time that I wanted it. And I didn’t dare blink. But the tears were coming and I didn’t want my husband or our friends to see me cry and so I excused myself to go out into the hall. Where I cried. And I cried. And I prayed.
I told Heavenly Father I was so sorry. I didn’t mean to be weak – I don’t want to be weak! I asked for increased faith in the Plan of Salvation.
You know that song, I Know That My Redeemer Lives? There’s that line in it that says “He lives to wipe away my tears.” And you know that scripture, “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left…”
If we could really see the Savior with our mortal eyes, He would be very close to us. Close enough to, as the song sings, wipe away our tears. As I asked for more faith in the Plan of Salvation, the One who made it possible came and caused the tears to immediately stop. My heart stopped aching. It was as if God blew away all the sadness and left me with inexplicable tear stains down my cheeks.
The peace I felt was tangible. Even with no working legs and no ability to dance, I found no reason to cry. With more faith in the Plan of Salvation I was able to go back into that ballroom and not just watch those Latin dancers dance, but I was able to enjoy it.
Because more faith in the Plan of Salvation means knowing that there is more to this life. And more faith in the Plan of Salvation means knowing that there is more to come. And more faith in the Plan of Salvation means knowing that there’s Latin dancing in heaven…they just wear more clothes.
And because I have more faith in the Plan of Salvation, I have more confidence in the Lord and I am more willing to accept whatever happens to me or doesn’t happen to me and more willing to love the things I can do and the things I can’t.
And with more faith in the Plan of Salvation, I can more fully enjoy this life and all of the lessons on less that it brings.