Went Busking!!

To those who don’t know… Busking is street performance. I didn’t know what it was, either. But today was amazing. I went down with Sandi Fatow, prison minister (look her up) and found myself on a bench in Market Square. I wasn’t going to open my case for tippers, but another friend propped it open and insisted. A guy threw in a buck and some change before I even played a song, so I thought… why not? The other buskers had all done the same thing. So I let it be. I played for about two hours. Sandi fed some street angels (homeless people) at Subway, and I did my thing. I had a blast…

I rocked one guy’s world. He stood with his wife bugging him to keep walking, but he had his phone out and was recording like I was the greatest thing since sliced bread. He threw in a dollar for me and finally gave into his wife. Fully expecting that to end up on YouTube. A little girl nagged her mom until she got to throw in some money, and she threw in a $5 bill. That was exciting. I had to stop the song and wave to her. She was adorable. Another guy sat at a nearby cafe, and I got scared that he was glaring. He wasn’t. He came over and told me how good I was and threw some money in, too. He never cracked a smile at all, but he praised me for a long time and said I was the only good musician he’d ever heard down there. (There have been plenty of good buskers at Market Square. I just don’t think he’d seen any of them.)

The listener who really stole my heart was an older black lady. She stood and listened to my “Victory” song that I’d written a while back. Stood there for a long time. Long enough that I had to go back through and do the chorus for her a few times. She dug around in her purse and was fretting that she didn’t have any money. I told her she didn’t have to give me anything. She insisted she wanted to give me something. She ended up putting a pamphlet in my case for Narcotics Anonymous, and threw it in with the biggest smile on her face. That was worth more to me than any bill. I thought of the woman who threw the two coins into the offering, and Jesus said she had given more than anyone. That alone gave me my second wind, and I played several songs even after “Victory” was supposed to be my last one.

You have to understand the hipster scene of Market Square to really understand what I was doing here. It’s new age as far as the eye can see. It’s got the cool stores and alternative diners. Lots of people in dreadlocks and peace symbol jewelry. And here I am in the middle of it all with a guitar and playing Jesus music. Honest to God, I thought going into it that people were going to throw rocks. But for the most part, people either showed interest or ignored me completely. I was cool with being ignored. I was more afraid of being run off. That didn’t happen. And after the woman with the pamphlet left, I immediately felt guilty. I had to repent of the fear I had going into the evening, and afterwards I played whatever I wanted to, even the ones that blared the name of Jesus.

You want to know the real surprise? The song that drew in the crowd, that got everyone’s attention and had all eyes on me, left me in shock. Of all things… Days of Elijah. I wasn’t going to do it. It would have been too loud. I didn’t know all the words exactly. But I did it, and you would have thought I was passing out twenty dollar bills. Everyone got so excited. I couldn’t believe it. If I had done that song first, I could’ve left early. But at least twenty people all stood around, Christians and Atheists alike, to listen to me sing, “There’s no God like Jehovah, there’s no God like Jehovah…” I mean, wow…

So, there you have it. My first experience busking. I’ll definitely be doing it again. I think Saturday would be a better day to do it, and the clouds were a little ominous today. I think with better timing, I can do better. And I will definitely not be afraid next time to sing about God to a crowd of nonbelievers.