Why Didn't He Dance With Me?
This story is based on a story told to my mom by her mom and mom told it to me.
With every step she whimpered, "Jesus, help me." Maggie ran home as fast as she could. She collapsed on the park's curbside overlooking her house. She was exhausted. A statue of William Shakespeare crowned the park. The neighborhood nicknamed him Silent Willy. He would be the only witness to her sorrow that night.
She clutched the crucifix chained around her neck while she wept inconsolably. She looked at the starry dome and said out loud, "Mom, if you were only here you would make it all better!" She tried to remain there until she could control her emotions better. She didn't want her father and four brothers to see her sad.
A half hour passed and she nodded to sleep between whimpers. A noise shook her senses awake. Maybe it was a car, she thought, "I should be going inside." As she tried to get up a bright column of light appeared before her. Within it was the most handsome young man she had ever seen in all of her 14 years of life. He had golden skin, wavy dark hair and a white cloak tied at the waist with a golden cord. An orange glow more beautiful than any sunset she had ever witnessed reigned around him. Maggie could hardly speak, "w..h..o are... you?"
When the young man opened his mouth Maggie felt a peace she could only compare to her mom's embrace, only this peace passed through her and continued flowing towards her for the apparition's duration. He spoke, "I am Andrea, your guardian angel. Why are you sitting here crying? Talk to me."
Maggie opened her heart to Andrea and a torrent of emotions overflowed, "I just came from a school dance. (sob) It was my first social in this new school. I was talking OK with my new friends, but no boy asked me to dance."
Maggie's eyes lit up as she remembered what happened next, "Then, this young man walked into the school gym. He was cute, you know? But more than that, he knew every dance and all the girls danced with him. Even the other boys liked to hang with him. My friends came over to our table and told me how he laughs so cool and knows so much. I was dying to dance with him, but by the end of the night he left and ignored me. I was the only girl he didn't dance with. If only my mom were alive I could talk to her about him. I feel so ugly and so alone!" Here, she couldn't hold her tears back any longer and hunched down to cry.
"The young man is not from your school. Is he?" Maggie couldn't even raise her head to answer him. She simply nodded "no" amidst sobs. A hand touched her shoulder and she raised her head. "Don't cry. I will tell you why he didn't dance with you." Maggie was surprised, "You know him?"
"That young man has been to every dance in the county. He is not good and he is not a man. He is satan and in search of young people to follow him. Many of the kids at the dance had no protection against his wiles; however, a great number did turn away from him later on in the night. You were protected from the moment he saw you."
Surprised, Maggie asked him, "Why me?"
The angel raised his hand palm-side up towards her, "Who gave you the crucifix that you clutch so tightly ever since you sat down on the curb?"
"My mom, two years ago on my birthday." Maggie lowered her head. "She died last year of cancer and I miss her terribly. Dad moved us to a new town to start over, but it's not helping."
"It was that crucifix that turned satan away. The love that is represented in that image, the love that accompanied it when given and your faith in the midst of persecution have made satan powerless against you. God loves you very much and you have responded to that love."
Maggie was awestruck. All she could say was, "Cool." Suddenly she saw an opportunity fading away and she had to grab it while she could, "Andrea?... Is my mom in Heaven?"
The angel smiled at her, "No. She is right next to you!"
Maggie looked over her right shoulder and saw her mom smiling with outstretched arms towards her. "Maggs, my baby girl!" Maggie leaped up and fell into her embrace. "Mommy!"
Maggie closed her eyes and hugged as hard as she could. She could smell roses. Minutes passed and the young girl didn't want to let go, but she had to look into her mother's eyes. They were livelier and happier than she ever remembered. Her skin was so young and healthy. Her ebony black hair shiny and soft, draped over her shoulders. "Mommy, I've missed you! You look so much more beautiful than I remembered."
"Maggs, you can be beautiful too when you do the will of God. Heaven is the place where everyone does His holy will. You can start living Heaven here if you do His will too."
Maggie continued talking as she had sitting on her bed with her mom so many years ago, "You mean like the Our Father?" "Yes, my sweet. 'Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.' And if we are both doing the Father's will we will both be working together, so there really is no separation between us."
Her mom cleaned away the tears' traces and moved a strand of Maggie's hair away from her face. "Now, no more feeling sad over dances or boys. One day you will meet the boy that will help you complete your mission the same way your dad helped me. Don't worry. You're not alone. But, now I must go." Maggie last felt her mom's hands cradle her face and kiss her forehead goodbye.
Maggie's heart died a little as her mom separated from her and moved a step behind Andrea. "Remember," said her mom, "trust in Jesus. He loves you. And so do I." The column of light narrowed into a small beam and retracted into the night sky taking both the angel and her mom with it.
The front porch light went on and the dog barked incessantly once he saw Maggie. Dad peaked through the side window and called, "Maggs, is that you?"
Maggie answered so her words would walk ahead of her, "Yes, dad. It's me." Then she whispered, "I love you, mom. I won't let you down."
And Willy remained silent yet again.