Thursday, May 20, 2010


It had been awhile since I had listened to U2s ALL THAT YOU CAN'T LEAVE BEHIND. Well over a year. Earlier this week, the lyric, It' a beautiful day...don't let it get away came to mind. So, that morning on the way into work I popped the cd into the player to listen. It didn't take long for me to be reminded of something else. Why these songs had been such an important part of a renewing and maybe better said...a birthing that happened in me back now a few years ago. I share this story in hopes that it might encourage someone who finds themselves in a similar struggle as I did during that season.

I had either through my journey up to that point in my life lost the plot, or maybe it's that hadn't ever before really known the plot. I think the latter speaks more to the reality of my situation at that time than does the former.

The title sets the stage, and 4 songs in, the answer comes...

And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring...
And love is not the easy thing....
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can't leave behind

These song are all about loss that leads to gain, and being stuck and getting unstuck, and living and dying, and through it all, the focus is on a way forward that many just don't seem to want to face and deal with because it's not easy. But none the less, it is where freedom is found, and life begins. It's where we are lifted out of the blues because we have found something true. And often those around you in the beginning of the new journey can't feel it, but it has become so real to you no one can steal it.

This morning as I drove my daughter and a friend to school, another lyric that always jumps out at me prompted me to sit down write this blog post.

I'm not afraid to die
I'm not afraid to live
And when I'm flat on my back
I hope to feel like I did

U2's recording that preceded this one ended with the song Wake Up Dead Man. It's a desperate cry (prayer) of a man who finds himself at the end of his rope. It's a cry for help. And even if it is a mixed up one, at least it's honest. It's interesting how people often perceive things when they are caught on the ravaged path of independence. And religion is certainly a part of that path. God's not holding out on us nor punishing us. And God certainly isn't dead. It's we who are dead at that moment in time. But for this honest desperate man...somewhere between Wake Up Dead Man and the next song we get from U2, the first song on ALL THAT YOU CAN'T LEAVE BEHIND, something has happened. The plot has begun to come into focus. The cd starts out with this...The heart is a bloom, shoots up through stony ground. Being at the end of our rope is not a bad thing. It actually turns into a blessing if we can just let go of the control.

From Matthew 5

"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule."


Nicole said...

Beautiful! I just love when Father speaks to us through music... It blows me away every time...

The verse you shared, is it out of The Message Bible? It's awesome!

Kent said...

It is how Peterson translates it in The Message