Community, Pirouettes, and truths from Hebrews

Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

It may seem impossible to you, but there actually is a connection between the words from Hebrews above, pirouettes, and community for me.

I still have my very first pair of pointe shoes. As a dancer for 15+ years, I ended up with quite a collection, a collection that included different sizes and even different colors. Some pairs would only last a few days of Nutcracker performances before being worn out. All would be molded perfectly to my feet after hours of practice. But I only saved that very first pair because it’s the first pair that marked the milestone of accomplishing the feat of twirling on my toes.

And twirl I did. Before the pointe shoes, there had been just arabesques and grand jetés. But with the point shoes came the real fun: pirouettes. The French word pirouette literally means “to whirl about.” One pirouette is fun. But two or three, that is when the whirling really begins. There is a secret to perfecting the pirouette…

Spotting.

Without getting too technical, spotting is simply locking your eyes on one singular object and remaining fixated on it as your body turns until the very last millisecond. Then the head snaps bringing the eyes 360 degrees until the gaze locks back on the singular focus.

A singular focus. It’s needed for pirouettes; it’s even more necessary in my relationship with the Lord. The author of Hebrews directs us with the following words, “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:2

But how often I fail on my own at fixing my eyes. I can know that Christ is my one focus, but I can so easily become distracted. To succeed, I need the Lord, the Holy Spirit and that’s also where community comes in.

My community “stirs me up to love and good works.” My community “encourages me,” reminding me of, “the Day drawing near.” The author of Hebrews penned these words and as I read them, I’m reminded how thankful I am for my community.

How so very thankful I am that in my life, there have been some incredible women who invested in me: The wife, mother, and youth ministry leader who shared her daily life with me as she raised her children; the sorority sister who took me under her wing as I stepped onto a college campus and into a sorority; the women at the camp I worked at during my college summers who let me make mistakes, learn from experience, and guided me as I learned what servant leadership was all about; the incredible wisdom that was shared with me from a woman who poured in weekly to me as I set out in full-time youth ministry after college, helping to shape my prayer life and my daily surrender to the Lord.

And then the rich community I have today. Friends who love me, challenge me, pray for me and with me, and who consistently point me right back to the Lord. In a month when there’s a significant focus on gratitude, I am so very thankful for the community I’ve been blessed with that helps me with my “spotting”, with my focus on the Lord.

*Sacred Story is honored to have Ranelle Woolrich as a guest contributor this month. Ranelle grew up in Oklahoma, but having been born in Texas and raised by parents who were Texans, has always called herself a Texan. After graduating from the University of Kansas, she went on staff with a discipleship youth ministry in Missouri. In 2004, she returned to her roots in Houston and spent the next ten years teaching in both middle school and elementary schools and serving in school administration. In 2013, she joined the staff of Grace Bible Church in Houston as the Women’s Discipleship Director

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