They originated from West Africa and are a favorite during cultural celebrations in the Caribbean – The Moko Jumbies. These brilliantly colored dancers move on 6 – 8 ft. stilts to the music of flutes and drums or to modern rhythms. Some Moko Jumbies even step to the beat of music on stilts as high as 15 feet. During their performances, they wear full brightly colored pants, tops and hats, capturing the attention of spectators. Once they are skillfully positioned on their stilts, Moko Jumbies are hard to miss and hard to hate.
And here is a secret that is often missed and hated: some days, we can be like the Moko Jumbies – ordinary human beings mounted on stilts to prove to ourselves and others that we matter. We put on performances to secure the attention of our bosses, children, partners, friends, family members, and colleagues. We wear the brightest apparel and display the loudest personalities in an effort to make the feeling of insignificance disappear. We position ourselves higher than others to distance ourselves from anyone coming too close to seeing who we really are. We flaunt colorful masks that hide our broken self esteems and insecurities. We lose ourselves in the beat of life as we masquerade for spectators. We can be real life Moko Jumbies dancing through our seasons on stilts, hungry to be seen and belong.
This weekend let us put our stilts aside.
We don’t have to try so hard to grab the attention of others or God.
We matter to the One (God) who rules this universe and knows the number of hair on our head.
Even when our private and public lives don’t align, He is watching, seeing where it hurts, where we can be strengthened, where we can be delivered. Proverbs 15:3 says, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, watching the evil and the good.” Even if we have others fooled with our possessions and accolades and accomplishments, God still sees our hearts. Jeremiah 17:10, “But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” Even when we participate in extreme stunts and actions to cloud our feelings of insignificance…God sees us. We have his attention. We had his attention before we were born, (“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,” Jeremiah 1:5). We have His attention now, (Matt 28: 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age”) and we will have His attention for all of eternity.
Let us begin the process of removing the structures that we have put in place to draw attention to ourselves or distract us from our present realities. Let us put our stilts aside and bask in the positive attention of God for His attention is all we need.
(c) 2014, Dentrecia Blanchette