Saturday, August 9, 2014

Leipzig at last

Well, today we sat on the bus for the majority of the morning. We stopped for lunch and I had mushrooms and bread dumplings. Super yummy. Not long after that,  were standing in St. Thomas! It's amazing to me how familiar and comfortable a place can feel that I've spent so little time in. It is also amazing that no matter how many times I enter those doors, I get goosebumps at the sheer depth of history that is in those walls. I opted not to take pictures since I've been here so many times and have so many pictures. The choir gets to first sing from the steps, so we got to enter the chancel area. Of course, the minute the rope came down, a mob of tourists thought they could come up, too. Yikes. It was hair raising to stand so close to Bach's grave and to stand there and sing. I am still wrestling with feelings of anger and frustration about how much this feels more like a performance than worship, but I determined that this is the whole reason I came in the first place and no impatient comment, face, or gesture would ruin it for me. I resolved to put personal opinions to the side and just sing. The next 24 hours of this experience is solely between God and I, not me and the director, and not me and anyone in the choir. Sure, I will still be a part of the group, and all of that, but I'm making this experience my own. No matter what. After our very short rehearsal, we had lots of free time. I elected to hang out with two former CUC profs. I just say, I've really enjoyed getting to know them better on this trip. We found an open air music place and enjoyed drinks, than wandered some more hand had some apple strudel right in front of the Nikolikirche and next to my favorite hotel that I wish I was staying at. We returned home around 9:00.

The hotel we are staying at? Not my favorite. Rick Steve's book describes it as "open floor plan" to the bathroom or something like that. Lets just say there is no door to the bathroom. Not even a frosted glass one like in the other hotel. See this picture? That is the empty open door to the bathroom. See the door? That is the door out of the room to the hallway. Yep, you read that right. 

It gets better.... There are two large glass windows in the shower looking into the room. Yep, you read that right also. Needless to say, we are taking turns using the room to shower. 

All in all, this trip has thus far been a huge challenge. But, I am thankful to be in Leipzig again. I am thankful for good people who I have gotten to know or know better. I'm thankful for a wonderfully strong support system back home who have offered perspective, affirmation, and continue to set godly examples of what faith in action looks like. While I can say with some positive certainty that I won't likely ever go with this church again, God is certainly use it to stretch me in more ways than one. 

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