Dance metaphor of cross and mission: Indonesian missiologist
By Matters India Reporter
Yangon: Dance symbolizes the role of arts and communities in healing trauma suffered by Christians who witness violence, says an Indonesian missiologist.
“Dance is an artistic form embodying the spirituality of the cross – it is a broken symbol, the beauty that testifies to the wound.” Reverend Septemmy Lakawa, who teaches in Jakarta Theological Seminary, told the Asia Mission Conference in Yangon, Myanmar.
Speaking on October 16, the fifth day of the conference, she cited stories of three women victims of human trafficking and focused on the social and historical dimensions of trauma. She offered the perspective of the cross as a multifaceted site of wound, rupture, resilience and resistance which contests the understanding of the cross as merely a site of redemptive suffering. As a site of rupture, the cross stands as a stark reminder that suffering remains.
For Lakawa, mission as embodying the spirituality of the cross begins at the site of the disembodied lives of the victims, survivors and witnesses of traumatic violence and continues as churches and Christian communities bear witness to the trauma that affects people because of violence, discrimination and war.
“At the site of resilience and resistance we will encounter troublemakers,” said Lakawa.
Citing the parable of the widow from chapter 18 of Luke’s gospel, she said, “The widow is a ‘troublemaker’ who caused the unjust judge to feel uncomfortable and thus grant her justice. Perhaps, we need this approach now—to be ‘troublemakers’ means to be ‘peacemakers’, to be in mission in Asia now means to embody a spirituality of resilience and resistance – to be ‘troublemakers’ for peace, justice and healing.
Performing an Indonesian fusion dance at the end of her presentation, Lakawa showed how the dancer testifies the presence of the Holy Spirit through her breathing in and out. In conclusion she said, “Let us dance with churches, communities across differences to witness to the possibility of life, justice, peace and healing in our own contexts and beyond.”