Wednesday was our free day in Minneapolis. It was fun to have a break from concerts and be able to explore the city. We stayed in a hotel that was within walking distance of lots of shops and restaurants downtown. People split up into groups and did all kinds of different things during the day. Some went to an art gallery, some explored the riverfront, and one group even said they walked about thirty miles throughout the whole day. Our group visited a huge library, with a 25-cent book sale and very impressive bookshelves that moved with the touch of a button. The day before, the whole choir had a chance to check out the Mall of America for a few hours. It was packed with not only countless stores, but also an indoor roller coaster! Dale calculated that almost half of the choir members left the mall with a shopping bag in hand.
One especially meaningful experience I had in Minneapolis happened the first night we were there. A group of us was walking around, just seeing the city for the first time at night. Aaron noticed that a waiting station for the bus had awesome acoustics, and our group of eight just so happened to include sopranos, altos, tenors, and basses. We decided to test out the space (and our memory of the words) with “Ride On, King Jesus,” and it sounded amazing! We kept walking and were eventually stopped by a woman asking if we could spare a couple dollars for her. Instead, we asked if we could sing her a blessing. At first she was unsure, saying that she could just walk down the street and hear music on the radio if she wanted. She finally agreed, and we sang “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” for this woman on the streets of Minneapolis. She just stared wide-eyed through most of the song and then wiped away tears as it was ending.
I will remember this experience because it shows how powerful music can be. We have had formal concerts every day this week, singing for people across all different states. But here, although our spur-of-the-moment small group performance may not have been flawless, we were able to touch a woman's life through our gift of music. We may feel tired as the tour goes on, but I think it is always important to remember the impact we can have on people, sometimes without even realizing it.