I don't know how many of you know that Gladys Knight-McDowell directs a choir called "The Saints Unified Voices". It's amazing, if they are traveling even remotely in your area you need to go see them. She came to St, Louis this past weekend and Mike and I saw her yesterday. What a fabulous experience. She travels with them and uses it as a testimony meeting to bring those not familiar with the church to a forum where they can learn, be edified, and feel the Spirit of the Lord in a very non-threatening manner. Now this is no Mormon church choir, for lack of a better comparison this is a southern baptist revival choir... with a bit more reverence. They use the music in praise the way most of congregations have never thought of... She totally poked fun at the mormon way of music (most of us can all agree that the tempo of our music leaves much to be desired) yet spoke of the difference in reference to the cultures that we are exposed to and if we get a little more 'soul' in our church, the music might just get better. Gladys joked about how most people probably were thinking... what an african american mormon! Apparently her Relief Society sisters practically dropped their jaws the first time she played a song for them... it was a bit more... exuberant then they were used too!
According to Sis McDowell, we looked like 31 flavors in the audience, some strawberry, a lot of vanilla and some chocolate! Stretching the comparison to explain how we need to stretch ourselves to include others in our box, if Heavenly Father can create all the colors in the oceans, mountains, and sky above, why would we put it past him or limit him to only one color of brothers and sisters on this earth. I thought it was a great point and she put it so plainly.
On another level, towards the beginning of the performance she sang her rendition of I am a Child of God, and yes... I cried. But after the void that I felt on Saturday... I truly felt like my soul had been comforted in a way that it had not previously. She was able to bring the music not only to my heart.. but in my soul and it was such a moment of healing. I felt nothing but joy at the end of her performance and testimony. The last song that was sung by the choir, at parting was the same one sung on 'The Other Side of Heaven" when he leaves the island... with the line, 'until we meet again'. That was my thought for my Brooklyn. God bless you and hold you tight until we meet again.
I really hope the choir and their inspired director know what an impact they have on those in whom they perform for.... I was truly blessed last night because of them. .