Dancing in the Minefields: The Movie

By

I swore many years ago that I’d never make a music video. Back when my career began no one had ever dreamed of YouTube or Vimeo. If you wanted to watch a music video by a Christian artist you had to wait till the televangelists had gone to bed and the network couldn’t think of anything else to air, and so too few people would see it for the amount of money it would cost. But times have changed. Now people watch their computers as much as their televisions, and I figured a video like this might be good for somebody out there, even if they’re watching it at work when they’re supposed to be tweaking spreadsheets or something.

I sat in a little coffee shop in Nashville with Ben Shive and director Grant Howard to brainstorm, and in about thirty minutes I went from being wary of it to being excited about it. My only stipulation was that I wouldn’t have to dance, even though the song is about dancing. We had the idea to shoot the video in an old house that had weathered a century of storms, and to invite a few luminous older couples who had weathered storms of their own to dance around in that old house. We wanted to make something that, like the song, would celebrate marriage in all its terrible beauty. Below the video is the little blurb I wrote about the song for the record label.

Feel free to send the YouTube link to every human you know, as I’m pretty sure it’ll guarantee you a long, healthy life.

———————————————

In December of 2009 my wife and I celebrated fifteen years of marriage. A few days later, we got in a silly argument and I wrote this song after she went to bed. Marriage, see, was God’s idea. It’s one of the most potent metaphors in all of Scripture for the way God loves us and the way we’re to let ourselves be loved by him. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. To the contrary, it’s fraught with peril. Any good marriage involves a thousand deaths to self—the good news is, in Christ that marriage involves at least as many resurrections. We lay our lives down and enter this perilous dance with another human being who has done the same. Why should we expect to emerge unscathed?

(In case you’re wondering, two of the couples are my in-laws and Ben’s in-laws, and the other two are from Andy Gullahorn’s church and Todd Bragg’s church (both teach marriage classes in Sunday School, from what I gathered.)

Profile photo of Andrew Peterson

As a singer-songwriter and recording artist, Andrew has released more than ten records over the past fifteen years. His music has earned him a reputation for writing songs that connect with his listeners in ways equally powerful, poetic, and intimate. He has also followed his gifts into the realm of publishing. His books include the four volumes of the award-winning Wingfeather Saga.


95 Comments

  1. Jill

    I absolutely love this song. And the video is lovely.
    As a widow… this is bittersweet. It’s tragic that we couldn’t dance longer…. but I am very thankful for God’s promises to sustain.

  2. Canaan Bound

    LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish I could say more, but I think I just have to press play again instead.

    Perhaps the best “music video” I’ve ever seen! Are the dancing couples of any special relation?

    p.s. The first time through, I totally read the above to say, “…even if they’re watching it at work when they’re supposed to be TWEATING spreadsheets or something….”

  3. LauraP

    You do have a way of getting to the heart of the matter. 🙂

    There are so many reasons why I love this video. You’re a blessing, Andrew Peterson. (And I bet you can dance when you want to.)

  4. Jeff

    Saw this earlier in the week and immediately sent it to my parents who celebrated 50 years married on July 2…it captured my attention, and I have been watching/listening to the video several times, but just tonight noticed how the drums in the last chorus sound like explosions…I’m guessing that Ben produced, but wonder who had the idea…

  5. Kirk Johnson

    I’ve learned that I enjoy a good story as much (or more) than music. It turns out that all my favorite music tells a story. Thanks for sharing your stories through your music. My wife and I are expecting our first child and we’ve just celebrated our 3rd anniversary; looking forward to a lifetime of resurrections!

  6. Allison

    Oh, my Andy. I want every married couple I know to see this — and everyone else, too for that matter. It’s wonderful.

    But at the end my thought was — did you have to go and ruin that beautiful old chair to get that last shot? 😉 It’s probably some thrift store find, but still.

    I loved the green couch you were on, too. I guess I have a thing for old furniture…

  7. Shelley

    It is a terrible beauty, marriage. Thank you for the song, I’ve already shared it with as many as I can think of who would be blessed by this wonderful reminder. That we’re not in this crazy dance alone….

  8. Miranda

    I feel bad for the lovely furniture being put in the water. Other then that I like the video.

  9. Eddy Efaw

    This would be a great video to into a marriage series at a church. Marriage of two hearts and the “marriage” of our heart to God’s flowing in and out of each other. I’m think I just might have to let this idea stew a while!

  10. Chris Yokel

    Sounds like the Rabbit Room community needs to start a new sub-group: PETF, People for the Ethical Treatment of Furniture. That way, whenever any of the Andys or any other Rabbit Room artist attempts to use furniture in the making of their art, PETF will be there to keep ’em in line! 😛

  11. Jeff Fessler

    I think the imagery of the furniture is a critical metaphor of the “scars” you can’t escape when you love someone. In love, it’s “all in” or “all out” … no fake legs to protect the antiques. A fellow musician with whom I often played always reminds me, “Go big or go home!”

    Keep puttin’ chairs in the stream, man…keep drowning antiques ’til they understand.

  12. Christopher

    I loved the song and the video more than I can express. Thank you so much for it.

  13. Mark Sommer

    I just saw a link to this on Facebook. Absolutely awesome! I am definitely recommending you to my friends.

  14. Caleb

    My wife and I recently bought the new album (and can’t wait to hand out our additional copies to friends) and we love it. Andrew, this song (your entire album for that matter) made my wife and I cry – so good and so full of truth. I love this line: “when I forget my name, remind me” Beautiful!

    For those of you who haven’t bought the album yet (and can afford to), please do yourself a favor and buy it. It’s been a huge blessing to my wife and me. Time and time again, AP doesn’t disappoint.

    Love the song! Love the video!

    God, thank you for a community like the Rabbit Room, and thank you for blessing people like Andrew with wisdom, talent, and passion to create beautiful art that points directly back to you. I thank you for the ability to hear – to hear something as wonderful as this music. Thank you for always being the same. Lord, please let this song restore hope to those in broken relationships, messy relationships, tired relationships, apathetic relationships, and relationships that need to be given to you. Thank you for your grace and mercy. And thank you for the Cross – for your Son and His blood that was shed for us. Amen!

  15. Combing the Net – 7/19/2010 « Honey and Locusts

    […] Dancing in the Minefields — Andrew Peterson is among my all-time favorite singer/songwriters (and now author!). Not only does he have a brand new CD coming out (my pre-order ought to arrive soon!), but he’s also recorded his first-ever music video, to the song “Dancing in the Minefields”. Check it out! If I ever get a GPS, I want the Darth Vader TomTom! (HT: Kevin DeYoung) Published in: […]

  16. Toni Whitney

    Today, I received the copy of “Carried Along” that I ordered a few days ago. It is great timing for this post. I have been completing my CD collection working backwards; some songs I have heard and some are new to me. What I love about looking at the jacket of this one, is the picture of a fairly newly-wed Andrew, Jaime, young wife and mother, and best friend Gabe. Listening to ‘Nothing to Say’ with Jaimie’s voice in the background was just really sweet. You had a few marriage miles under your belt, and one thing that we all learn quickly is that the “Cleavers” we ain’t. I love holding this CD in my hand and looking at these (to me) young faces, and listening to “Dancing in the Minefields.” Each day is a conscious choice to walk as one with our mate, ” to give your life for another,’ as you said. Speaking as one who came to the Lord about the age that you are now, I really appreciate that you turn people toward the Lord through your own experience and are willing to bare and share, so to speak, and that is what is so inspiring.

    Thank you.

  17. andy mac

    thank you andrew. i am getting married in less than two months and this song was an encouragement for the “terrifyingly beautiful” step we’re taking soon. (or is that “beautifully terrifying”?)

    I’ve sent the link to my bride to be: i love you lorna and can’t wait for the dance to begin!

    as for the furniture? there are bigger battles to fight.

  18. Tony from Pandora

    After finally being able to actually watch the video, I must simply agree with Ron Block, “Great work”

  19. MargaretW

    Beautiful song. I was sitting in church listening to this song at one of AP’s concert’s when my pastor’s wife laid her hand on my knee. Such a simple gesture, but one full of meaning. I was instantly transported to the phone conversation we had as I trekked across the US with my husband to start a new life in a new city after his affair. Her husband listened as I sobbed after he left me stranded there with two small children so that he could return to the other woman. And after all of that, they were there when we reconciled for good. Dancing in the minefields… Golly, I sure know how it feels to lose a few toes.

  20. Matthew

    My wife and I just celebrated our 12th year of marriage yesterday, and can relate totally. Amazing song, Andy! Can’t wait for the new album to release!

  21. Debbie K.

    Hey there, ♥ Mr. Larry K. ♥ , should you ever get to reading through this here thread:

    Horns honked and
    Little boys giggled
    As they watched us still
    Stealing kisses
    At the red light.

  22. Duane

    You’re video has officially been added to my Facebook page. Now 154 more people have an opportunity to be blessed. You really can’t pay for that kind on exposure! Thanks AP. Love the song.

  23. Brenda Remis

    I hope this becomes a hit with teens. If they can see ( through hearing ) that there is so much more beyond ( what they’re feeling ) they may commit to a long, Godly marriage with confidence.

  24. Adam

    Well, this is great. I had my Mom listen to it and she cried. Thanks for sharing. And the music video was a cool idea. Feel free to check out my buddy Tyler who is a young christian cinematographer fresh out the south (well for school at least).

    http://www.tylerbradleyfilm.com/

    -Adam

  25. Jessie Rae

    Just posted this awesome-ness on my blog. It’s fantabulous! Thanks for making a music video. It’s made my day!

  26. Sallie Kate

    So beautiful. Just can’t get enough of it!
    That y’all would let the world get a glimpse of Him making beauty from ashes–what a God-honoring, open-fisted gift.

    Thanks for sharing it with us, AP and Square Pegs gang (and wives).

  27. Josh

    Great vid, Andrew. I came across Dancing In The Minefields via theintimatecouple.com. They referenced it in conjunction with the site founders’ 28th wedding anniversary. Appropriate, don’t you think?

    Great work, man. Keep it going. We’re all cheering for you!

    Josh

  28. jennifer Whitmore

    I loved this. Thanks for changing your mind. My hubby said it is just missing your wife at the end, running out into the creek to tell you that was her best chair. (just kidding). It’s really wonderful.

  29. Kevin

    I love the background vocal reference to “Don’t give up on me” another great AP song about marriage. God has truly blessed you with a gift to convey the truths of life inside of great art. I can wait for “Counting Stars” to arrive.

  30. Tyler

    This song is amazing and the video is very well done and is a great visual partner to the song. Thanks for this.

  31. Deb

    This song has really ministered to my husband and I this week. We too have been married 15 years and have endured our share of storms and mines. Your post came out on what would have been our only child’s 9th birthday…he lost his battle with cancer 17 months ago. We’ve needed a little encouragement to keep dancing- especially this week. Thanks Andrew!

  32. Jay

    10 years of marriage and this song just RESONATES…Thanks for your brilliant use of music and lyric to preach God’s unfailing love. Well done!

  33. Canaan Bound

    Mark L. : Not to be rude, but… are you nuts? I suppose you were joking. I mean, I can sorta see a connection to the Rich Mullins video…but Journey? No way, man.

  34. Mark L.

    Haha, I am 95% joking! The other 5% is times in the videos when the musicians are just sort of randomly standing there jamming away. However, I suppose that happens in most music videos. Btw, I should have mentioned that I loved the video. I just figured that it went without saying as there is no higher compliment to be compared to both Rich Mullins AND Journey!

    To answer your other question – yes, I am nuts.

  35. Adam Bennett

    Well, now that network is gonna have an issue, because this video is *way* better than that televangelist.

    Awesome job! Truly. The video is gorgeous! Everything from the chair to the creek to the dancing.

  36. Mark L.

    In a post a few weeks back, Andrew mentioned, “I’ve enjoyed peppering my lyrics and stories over the years with elusive references, internal rhymes, and/or meanings that are only noticed and appreciated by a few people, if any at all. I don’t mind being the only guy who knows.” I really want to know what these things are! So, for this video, I’ve developed my own Andrew Peterson conspiracy theory.

    Dropping the leaf early in the video seems to be an obvious allusion to the album “Carried Along”. The shot of the wedding band reminds me of the “Walk” cover. So, when Andrew tilts his head up and to the corner for no apparent reason around 9 seconds in, is this a reference to the cover of “Clear to Venus”?

    If anyone else discovers any of these APCT’s please let me know. Now, I am off to unlock the secrets of The Far Country!

  37. Heather

    AP your music has always moved me closer to God, and I can remember listening to the far country cd every morning for at least a year while driving in my car. This video came to me tonight, at a time when I needed a reminder of the sanctity of marriage, I thank you for all that you do. Your music has made a real difference in my life.

  38. Dryad

    This song reminds me of Michael Card’s ‘Earthly Perfect Harmony’–and both remind me of my parents.
    Twenty years and four kids–they still love each other and ‘dance through minefields (of which I could do with a great deal less.)

  39. Angie K.

    Thank you for this beautifully haunting poetry-put-to-song… my husband and I also celebrated our 15th anniversary in 2009, and it’s amazing what fifteen years can bring to life. Like others, I’ve needed a tissue when watching the video and listening to the lyrics… BEAUTIFUL! I’m so glad you were able to pair video with the music in such a simple but profound manner. Thank you again!! (Now that the 27th is here, I’m ordering the CD tonight. 🙂

  40. Linda

    Beautiful! Just beautiful!

    We celebrate 42 years soon. We were very young. I’d do it all again.

    We had roadblocks, crashes and major construction in our lives and hearts by the Master Builder. God redeemed all. Now is another stage, sweet fellowship while we realize some of our dreams and encourage other couples. We love watching our children raise the next generation of warriors for Christ.

    If it up to you, don’t give up. If God redeemed ours He can redeem any marriage.

  41. Pracades

    Haha…I had to laugh out loud while I was weeping watching the video…I am watching it at work instead of tweeking a spreadsheet! But I am glad to have your permission, I passed this link on to about everyone I know because I have been looking for a way to share your music with them for years! Besides going out and buying an album for them all, which believe me I would do if I had the money, I haven’t had much opportunity otherwise! I keep posting links to some of the posts to the rabbit room on my facebook page in hopes that it would get someone here to read these amazing words from amazing folks about love, grace, and the power of Christ. Thanks, Andy, although I have to admit it is a little uncomfortable with you staring directly into the camera, looking directly at me. Music videos are so weird when you feel so personally connected to the song and artist!

  42. Michael Falk

    Being a husband who is currently separated from my wife this video and song have touched me deeply and given me added vigor in praying for the renewal of my marriage. We have had a long hard go at it and many times it seemed like there was just too much water under the bridge. Someone asked me though once if I believed that God believed in our covenant and I had to say yes and knowing that God believes in our covenant and how He will fight with me for our marriage has given me hope.

    I would die for her…

    A hui hou kakou…
    Michael

  43. Roman

    It’s amazing how time and again your music finds me. You are truely a blessing. Showed the wife and she cried. Never had as many responses to a facebook post. A hidden treasure.

  44. Dancing in the Mine Fields by Andrew Peterson « The Dee Zone

    […] When I post videos I like to include something about the artist or song. I think Andrew’s description of the inspiration for this song is better than anything I might write. In December of 2009 my wife and I celebrated fifteen years of marriage. A few days later, we got in a silly argument and I wrote this song after she went to bed. Marriage, see, was God’s idea. It’s one of the most potent metaphors in all of Scripture for the way God loves us and the way we’re to let ourselves be loved by him. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. To the contrary, it’s fraught with peril. Any good marriage involves a thousand deaths to self—the good news is, in Christ that marriage involves at least as many resurrections. We lay our lives down and enter this perilous dance with another human being who has done the same. Why should we expect to emerge unscathed? Read the original post. […]

  45. A wife

    What an amazingly beautiful song. My heart just is so full, and eyes pouring over. Thinking of the years my husband and I have been married and struggled. It sure has been a minefield. “It was harder than we dreamed but I believe that is what the promise is for”..yes yes so true.. But He is restoring us, God is so sweet . I do love my husband, thank you Jesus for saving our family and redeeming our marriage! It has been a very long 16 years of marriage but God is seeing us thru. I am buying the cd for my husband for our anniversary. Praise God for families that make it thru the minefields!!

  46. Susan

    Oh my. I’ve been roaming about the Rabbit Room today (discovered it via Lanier’s Books) and this song…wow. I, too, plan to buy this CD for my husband. Our 27th anniversary is in September. We’ve danced in the minefield, indeed, but God has kept us safe throughout.

  47. Betty

    I love this Video! Can’t stop playing it. It’s beautiful. I showed it to my son and his fiance, and now they’re using it in thier wedding. My husband and I have been married for 25 yrs My hope is that my son’s will have wounderful marriages too.

  48. Janna

    I watched this video and I cried.
    I watched again, and cried again.

    It is beautiful and scary and inspiring all at once. “. . . that’s what the promise is for.” That line would have meant a lot to me several years ago and means all the more now that several close friends have divorced and my husband and I have survived the fiercest storm yet. This year has been about scraping together the remnants of our hearts and family and this album has been a part of that.

    I put together a slide show to “You Came so Close” ~ not exactly professional but I did it for my husband as a tribute to the dawn. If any of y’all have time to take a look, I’d be honored. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jG-_o5saVV8

    Blessings,
    Janna

  49. andy

    Love the music and the lyric…!!!
    It’s always ringing in my mind…”.. We are dancing in the minefield…”

  50. Mike Griffey

    Andrew, simply an awesome anthem to the marriage relationship that God intends us to enjoy and sometimes endure. Thank you for allowing the Lord to use these lyrics to touch so many hearts and lives…

  51. Mike Griffey

    By the way, I have been married to my lovely bride, Martha, for 26 years, and we have had our share of dances in the mine fields. Thank you again for such a timely song for our generation.

  52. Fellow Traveler

    Hey Andrew, I’m so glad you did this. Tear glands always kick in at the line “At the end of all my faith, to the end of all my days, when I forget my name… remind me.”

    That could even have a literal meaning for a couple where one of them had Alzheimer’s.

    Brilliant stuff.

  53. Robert Treskillard

    Andrew,

    We’ve been requesting Dancing In The Minefields here in St. Louis (99.1 Joy FM), and they’ve been playing it quite a bit. My son even got put on the air to request it the other day.

    Your songs are a blessing … keep it up!

    -Robert

  54. Jazz

    I’m in awe. If I ever get married and I highly doubt that I will, I hope my husband will love me that much.

  55. Karen

    I just heard this song for the first time on the radio the other night and it brought me to tears! We were 18 and 20 when we got engaged, and it’s been 17 years of marriage now…so slight differences. I e-mailed the words to my husband at work and he cried, too, because we both needed to hear this right now. Thanks for ministering to our hearts. I posted it to my Facebook page, and one of my friends has reposted it to hers. Now to look into that album…Thanks so much for the blesssing of this song!

  56. James Witmer

    Andrew,

    This video is what first exposed me to your music. Your honesty about the pain, yet willingness to look through the Resurrection to beauty and romance-still-alive, is unusual. I cried. Then I went to Google and fell down a rabbit hole filled with hutches, square pegs, other people who love my favorite authors, pirates, toothy cows….

    Thanks for making this video. And thanks for writing this song. It has played many mornings at my house after nights of “storm”, calling us to the day’s new mercies.

  57. Vicki McAlpine

    Valentines Day is filled with superficial uses of the word “LOVE”… this is what REAL LOVE is made of!!!

  58. Kerry

    I think this song beautifully demonstrates the connection of God in a marriage, as well as the love between the wife and husband. I am not married as many of the people posting on this blog, but I showed this to my boyfriend this morning, and we’re thinking about having this be our first dance at our wedding. I think it sets the stage for an awesome relationship “through better or for worse, in sickness and in health,” but most of all with God at the center.

  59. Paige Graham

    I am Mary Elizabeth and Tom Seckman’s niece. They appear in your wonderful video. This piece has been held dear to my entire family since its release, but now is treasured as a family heirloom as we lost my Aunt M.E. early in 2012 to cancer. To see her laughing, smiling and dancing with my Uncle is priceless, and I watch it so often.

    Thank you so much for the song, but we are all so grateful for the video, where Aunt M.E. dances forever.

    Paige Graham

  60. Mary Goddard

    Well, he was 20 and I was 24, and we didn’t get engaged: we started living together straight away, and became New Age travellers. Our oldest son was born in the back of our truck in Portugal, and because we later discovered he was a stateless person, we were forced to get married so that he could have a nationality. A year later we were wonderfully saved by the Lord Jesus Christ, but because we had so much baggage and issues, it really has been a minefield! But praise God and take courage all you fellow dancers out there – trust in Him and in Him only, honour God with your commitment to Him and to each other, and He WILL keep you, He will uphold you to the end, and afterwards take you into glory. Thank you so much, Andrew Peterson, for this song. When I first heard it on Christian radio, I stopped dead in my tracks. I had been dreaming of dancing like that and when I saw the video, the tears just sprang into my eyes. We sent the link to our middle son and daughter-in-law who got married at those ages, only the other way round. Bless you and thank you, Mary. PS So sorry to hear about your Aunty, Paige, and I also would like to know which couple it is.

  61. Charles Fellows

    My daughter just did a wonderful video of old pictures for our 46th wedding anniversary and she used your song. It is absolutely amazing! But FB won’t let us post it for possible copyright violation. Can I get permission to use it? I will gladly pay a fee if needed. Thank you!

    Anniversary%20Movie%20-%20Small.mov

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