Below is a photo diary of my trip to Siena with one spectacular individual: Kate. Our time exploring this gorgeous little medieval city was marked with laughter and love. God continually surprised us, too. One day during a lunch break, we sat in the main piazza with our porchetta panini, and prophesied over each other, releasing more spiritual gifts and encouraging one another.
We met new friends, ate great food, shopped the markets, went on photo hunts, and enjoyed the Christmas-ey atmosphere.
One of the things that blessed my heart the most on this trip was the fact that Kate graciously allowed me to satisfy my cravings. You see, I have this thing for churches. When I walk in, I am overcome with this intense urge to make a noise. I was created to sing. My soul cries out to sing to my God. For some reason, these gorgeous buildings seem to be simply that: gorgeous buildings. But when I enter, I. Must. Worship.
So, we would walk in to a church, and if it happened to be empty enough, and I’m feeling bold enough, I will sing. Hear me – I never want to interrupt someone’s prayer time, and always want to respect individuals and culture alike. Am I allowed to sing in here? Is it rude? Is it bad if I break the silence? I don’t have answers to these concerns, so I remain extra conscious of those around me, just to be safe. It is a holy place, too, and I want to be reverent before God.
We found one church, in the beginning of the historic center, and I began to sing. A man that I did not see, stood and popped out around a hidden corner to watch. The look on his face told me he was not mad- he was blessed to hear worship in that place, so I continued my early morning song. However, tourists kept coming in, and I never sing for attention or audiences, so it made me quite uncomfortable, and I became shy. Moving on to the next adventure, please!
The following day, we found another empty church near the main piazza of Siena, and we went in, mainly because it was cold and we wanted to sit down for a moment. So in we went. We sat on a pew, being watched by a security guard. I approached the guard and asked in my excellent Italian (sarcasm) if I could sing. The guard responded by telling me they didn’t know, and to try it, and if anyone gets upset, to stop and leave. That answer seemed logical enough for me, so I went back to the pew and readied my heart.
For some reason, the bigger the church, the more intimidated I become. To break silence in such a large empty space, one has to be fully committed. Deep inhale, close my eyes, and let it out.
I love you, Lord, and I lift my voice to worship you, o my soul rejoice. Take joy, my King, in what you hear, and let it be a sweet, sweet sound in your ear.
We continued to sit there for at least 45 minutes, each of us alternating with songs that were put on our hearts. People would come in and listen. We got up to leave, and the silence again settled in the sanctuary.
Worship releases something in to the atmosphere, no matter how big and intimidating the place is. Worship anyway.
Thank you, Kate, for the amazing time in Siena, the countless memories we share, and simply for your friendship. I can’t wait for the next one.
All my love,