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Today I had one of the most spiritual and emotional experiences so far during my stay here in Europe. After lunch with a couple of friends, I decided to walk the city streets and soak up whatever I could. The merchants were busy putting up decorations and the spirit of the holidays was beginning to show on the faces of people passing by. I strolled down a back alley and came out to face the big Lutheran Church in the middle of the city. The Gothic church, built in 1506, towers the city with a presence of awe. Since I came, almost a year ago, I have wanted to sing in there. I walked up to the door and read the sign, with a little help from my translator, that posted the office hours during the holidays. I realized the church was open and I walked through the enormous wooden door into a world of spiritual bliss and peace. A woman sat at a desk in the back of the hall displaying postcards and other trinkets for sale. I bought 6 postcards and found a seat in one of the pews wondering how I would ask her if I could sing just one song. I stalled and walked around the sanctuary hearing the acoustics with every step I took. The paintings, sculptures, light fixtures, stained glass windows, and even the walls told stories from the past. I felt a strong energy begin to fill me and I walked back to the woman at the desk. In my best German I told her I was an opera singer from America and I hadn't sung in three months. I asked her if I could sing one song and she answered in beautiful English, "Please do so." I thanked her and walked to the alter. I couldn't do it. Something was happening to me. I was filled with so much emotion that I started to cry. My eyes welled up with tears and I felt a tremendous feeling of love and joy. I sat down and stared at the statues of Jesus and the beautiful colors of the stained glass windows unable to think, only to feel. People began to walk in and out and I waited until everyone had left and the church was once again empty and quiet. I stood up and took two deep breaths, a bit hesitant at first. With the third breath I sang the Lord's Prayer, right there, with all of my heart and soul. My voice was cold in the beginning but warmed up as I sang and my body vibrated with a spiritual energy. The sound filled every inch of that church. It was magnificent. When I finished, you could hear a pin drop and all was still. I turned around and saw three people sitting in the pews, listening. I didn't notice because I was facing the alter. It wasn't a performance, it was my prayer to God. I picked up my bag and walked down the aisle with my eyes to the ground. I said danke to the woman at the desk and walked out of the wooden door. The moment I stood on the cement steps outside the church, a rush of emotion came pouring out of me and I began to cry. They were tears of joy and gratitude for the gift I was just given. My body still tingled and vibrated with love as I walked down the street. People passing looked at me and smiled which may seem normal to you but in Germany, during the winter, it's unusual. When I got to Wagnergasse, the street where I live, I thought about the music director who worked with me in the Catholic church where I sang last Easter. Just as the thought entered my mind, Herr Regal, the music director from that church, came riding up beside me on his bicycle. I was so happy to see him and thought it must have been some kind of divine intervention. I shook his hand and told him what had just happened. He seemed pleased and we parted after a brief chat. I'm home now and still resonating from today. That was a moment I will never forget.
6. November 23, 2010
A Blessing in St. Michael's Town Church
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