“We need light here”
Davidson United Methodist Church Choir’s tour to Germany in 2017 included singing in a Berlin church which has seen dark tragedy on more than one occasion. Here, director Kevin Turner recalls how one audience member explains how their singing impacted this special place.
On our tour to Germany, our final engagement was at the Kaiser Wilhelm church which has stood as a monument for peace having been bombed out in World War II. This congregation chose to stay in that location with a bombed out shell of a building next to the modern building next door.
Immediately following our concert, an older lady spoke to one of our choristers. She spoke, through tears, of how we had brought light into that space. She said, “we need light here.” I found that comment very sentimental, but I overlooked its significance.
We stepped out on the plaza outside the church where I was confronted with the sight of numerous red candles, portraits, and flowers. It was only then when I realized the woman was right. Outside this church in the previous December, a terrorist used a van to plow through the crowded Christmas market. This church had been the epicenter of the tragedy. It now holds significance for two tragic events.
World War II was a dark tie in the history of our world. In December, that crazed man tried to spread darkness again. Every day since these tragedies, the Kaiser Wilhelm church stands I solemn contrast showing itself as a beacon of light against these monuments of darkness.
We were honored to be just a small part of this light. Our choir loves to sing and experience travel because we are able to participate and share in moments like this.
Photo by Gary Chartraw