“The music that really turns me on is either running toward God or away from God. Both recognize the pivot, that God is at the center of the jaunt.” -Bono
I seem to have this ongoing fascination with Bono. It’s not because he’s a celebrity, or even because he’s in a band that I like to listen to. He’s just sort of enigmatic and odd, a “walking contradiction, partly truth and partly fiction” as the old song goes. On one hand, he’s been married to the same woman for 27 years. On the other hand, he comes off as sort of arrogant and full of himself. He’s a rock star who sings in an a band that doesn’t really sound like rock, a committed Christian who can say something profoundly moving and spiritual in an interview one minute, and then turn around and lace his Grammy acceptance speech with expletives the next. He campaigns tirelessly for the world’s poor, but lives in a giant mansion. I like how one music reviewer put it: he’s the only rock star who appears to be in love with the world, himself, and God all at the same time, and he’s bothered by the contradiction therein.
He’s just hard to figure out. Even his music is unique. I mean, what other mega rock star could get away with singing lines like these: “Only love can leave such a mark / Only love can heal such a scar / I was born to sing for you / I didn’t have a choice but to lift you up / And sing whatever song you wanted me to / I give you back my voice / Justified till we die, you and I will magnify / the Magnificent”?
Although I struggle to understand him, at the same time I feel like he is, somehow and for some unknown reason, an important person in the world today. I also feel a sort of connection to him, to the way he openly struggles with reconciling wealth and fame and poverty and a messy world with faith in a humble Saviour. His lyrics have also had a big impact on me. I find God in them, I must admit. Anyway, here are some links to a few articles which should shed some more light on this guy. This one’s an editorial he recently wrote for the New York Times, while this one’s an article about the apparent hypocrisy of some of Bono’s charity work. And this one’s an interview with him in which he speaks eloquently about faith and grace. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these after you’ve read them.