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Title: Waltzing at the Window
Author: Sharon Riddle
Publisher: Olive Leaf Publications
Genre: Devotional
Copyright: 2005
ISBN: 0-9761583-4-5
Reviewer: Jan Ackerson

Available Through: Olive Leaf Publications

Both Sharon Riddle, the author of "Waltzing at the Window," and I have in common an upbringing in conservative churches which discouraged dancing. I was particularly delighted, therefore, to read her book, with its extended metaphor of prayer-as-dance. The symbolism of the dance here is that of experiencing freedom in our communication with the Lord, in all of the varied circumstances of our lives.

Riddle's slim volume is divided into chapters which detail each of those life circumstances. Her chapters feature familiar Biblical characters, and explore the way in which those characters danced their prayers to God. We read about Naomi--dancing in famine, Daniel--dancing in conflict, and David--dancing in victory (among many others).

There are several breathtaking moments of insight here. My copy is highlighted on nearly every page, where I found wonderful morsels of wisdom that seemed to have been written exactly for me. Consider these:

  • The enemy reminds me of a door-to-door salesman. I don't always know in advance what he is promoting, but I know this, that if I stand there listening to his pitch long enough, I'll probably end up buying something I don't need or want.

  • Every prayer requires response from the Lord. For the forgiven, it is impossible to pray impotent prayers.

  • The crackling fire that we so desire to avoid is the very place where we lose our shackles…[God is] in the fire itself…it's where God introduces Himself to us.

At the end of each chapter, Riddle shares entries from her prayer journal. Some of these deal with the mundane (a broken seat belt) and some with much larger issues (a daughter's schooling). In every instance, God was Sharon's eager dance partner, giving credence to her statement that "no one who plants their trust in the Lord will be disappointed."

"Waltzing at the Window" is a quick read, written in an engaging style. Reading it made me--well, it made me want to dance!