This morning, I was invited by Jeff Kingsbury to sing for the Unity Church here in Olympia, Washington. When I met beforehand with the minister, she, not really knowing my program, asked me if I had a song for mother's day.
I told her I actually didn't. (Now that I think of it, both Gabi's Song and William's Song are "mother's day" songs, but at the time, I was thinking more about the songs from New World Waking).
Then she asked me to tell her what I would be doing this morning. I looked at her with a totally blank expression and said, "I have no idea. I just kind of make it up as I go along."
She looked a bit scared.
So, I gave her a general outline of who I am, what I've written, etc., and then went out and hung around for a little bit.
Unity is a church founded in the late 1800s by a minister who felt that, among other things, Christianity had become so ritualized, it had lost its real spiritual power. I could try to go into it, but it's easy to look them up and let the group speak for itself. Jim and I occasionally would attend an Unity service in New York. What I like about it was that it was interfaith in the best sense of the word.
While the teachings of Unity are centered in the teachings of Jesus, one can attend and be Hindu, Buddhist, whatever faith drives you. It's not Unitarianism, but I can see some crossover.
So, I decided, once I was behind the piano, to talk about "miracles." I said that I felt I had always been taught that miracles are what come "down" from above. But in practice, I felt miracles are the things we create ourselves through simple intentions. I used the example of how, by simply putting my own story about living with AIDS up on the Net back in 1996, it turned into a chance to play John Lennon's piano -- a thing I could never have planned in advance.
Anyway, I opened with "Save Me A Seat" and immediately got a standing ovation. Then, I sang "Lazarus Come Out." Another standing ovation. This happened over and over again.
I think I was getting through.
Before I knew it, the service was over, and many were saying how excited they were to hear my music, and how they would be coming tonight for the concert.
It was so thrilling to be so warmly and generously received.
This afternoon, I sing at a PFLAG meeting. Oh, there's the car now...