Last night Joel and I and a buncha other people from the Chattlanta area went to see U2 last night. It’s no mystery that U2’s lyrics are full of spirituality and agenda. Those of us that are skeptical, cynical, or shall we even lump in the word discerning, take Bono and his agenda and push aside the reflection on truth that he celebrates. We talk about his politics, his lumping of all religions, his scattering of true doctrine mixed in with politically correct charity. But even though this was just a rock show, I went in with my optimistic light burning bright. I told myself I was going to sing the.whole.time. And I told myself I was going to take it all in. The joy. The reason why I love U2’s music. Just like when I wander through a beloved museum, unable to spend less than 2 or 3 hours looking at it all, I knew I would need to enjoy every morsel. The thing is, there were things that fell short and my inner critic began to doubt and whisper.
“What’s wrong with the sound?” “Bono sounds flat” “I wish this pylon wasn’t obstructing my view” “I don’t know this song at all”. Stop! They launch into Mysterious Ways, not my favorite song but I was dancing. Then they launched into Beautiful Day. I found myself reacting to the magnitude and greatness of the art that was taking place around me. I lifted my hands (which I often do) and began to be filled with thankfulness, and ultimately joined with whatever origin Bono’s lyrics came from and worshipped. Not Bono, I worshipped the one who gave those musicians that gift. I decided that I was no longer there to gawk at the special effects with my humanity, but I was there to celebrate this teeny tiny reflection of what it will be like in heaven. The sound of voices joining in familiar song.
The light, the wonder, the cheers, the intimacy. Bono in his humanity still addressed us all with a desire for intimacy. That’s why they built this crazy stage, he said. They wanted to be able to go out into the crowd, extend everyone’s view, join with thousands. The vanity is there, the big-wig attitudes, but for me, that didn’t matter. Who cares about the outlet! Am I not just as vain, sinful and self centered as any rock star? Yet do I not desire to show the viewers of my work what Christ has done in my life? So with this knowledge, I worshipped, I looked past the bumps and clumsiness that this mega rock band was suffering through and accepted the experience just like I do at church, at conferences, in my own voice, with my own talents. I sang loud and hard. And praise God I had my voice back, I’ve missed it. I sang Beautiful day, and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking for as Bono gave the audience the mic. I sang with joy, just like I do at church when our voices join and rise above our bodies and go to the ears they are there to honor. Because I’m groaning to be with Jesus some days. And honestly, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.
8By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. Hebrews 11:8-10