From “Dance in the Dark: Preaching the Blues Without Despair”

By Rev. Dr. Otis Mott III

A little girl about six years old taught me a wonderful lesson…when Trinity Church was going through a very painful moment. My predecessor had been unfairly lifted up and attacked in the media because a person who’d been kissed by nature’s sun was running for the presidency. As a result, media were outside of our church every day. There were a hundred death threats every week: “We are going to kill you. We are going to bomb your church.”

The stress was so painful that it was very difficult to sleep at night. One night I was half asleep and heard a noise in the house. My wife, Monica, punched me and said, “You go check that out.”…I looked downstairs, and then I heard the noise again. I made my way back upstairs and peaked in my daughter’s room. There was my daughter Makayla dancing in the darkness—just spinning around, saying, “Look at me, Daddy.”

I said, “Makayla, you need to go to bed. It is 3am. You need to go to bed.”

But she said, “No, look at me, Daddy. Look at me.”

And she was spinning, barrettes going back and forth, pigtails going back and forth.

I was getting huffy and puffy wanting her to go to bed, but then God spoke to me. “Look at your daughter! She’s dancing in the dark. The darkness is all around her but it is not in her!”

Makayla reminded me that weeping may endure for a night, but if you dance long enough, joy will come in the morning. It is the job of preachers to teach the Blue Note gospel, the gospel that sends this word to us in the hardest of times: do not let the darkness find its way in you. Dance in the dark.