U2, a Worldwide Pandemic, Streets on Fire, and a Need for Grace

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I try not to do any social media on Sundays if I can help it so I most likely will not see any comments till later tonight but I wanted to post this, well…post-haste.

We, as a family, were listening to U2 in the car because, well it’s a day that ends in “y” and we heard the following lyrics:

Sixteen of June, Chinese stocks are going up
And I’m coming down with some new Asian virus
JuJu man, JuJu man
Doc says you’re fine, or dying
Please
Nine-oh-nine, St. John Divine on the line, my pulse is fine
But I’m running down the road like loose electricity
While the band in my head plays a striptease
The roar that lies on the other side of silence
The forest fire that is fear so deny it
Walk out into the street
With your arms out
The people we meet
Will not be drowned out
There’s nothing you have that I need
I can breathe
Breathe now
We are people borne of sound
The songs are in our eyes
Gonna wear them like a crown
Walk out, into the sunburst street
Sing your heart out, sing my heart out
I’ve found grace inside a sound
I found grace, it’s all that I found
And I can breathe
Breathe now

Forgiving Your Circumstances

I was standing in the shower the other day and I was following a trail of thought where it would take me, without worrying about getting back to the trailhead. And something hit me…it was actually one of the very rare moments when I have an idea wholly new about a subject I’ve been thinking about for years on end.

This probably happens to coaches who come up with a new theory or at least a theory new to them. No one told them to strategize a particular way. They were just standing in front of the mirror shaving and Boom! they knew they had something worth pursuing.

Mine almost always happen in the shower. This is a new shower so maybe it has great karmic energy or something.

Just kidding about the karma.

Here’s the thought – a life being shaped by the beauty and wonder of grace will not only find it easier to forgive people but will also find it easier to forgive their circumstances.

Forgiveness requires a peculiar softness. And I think it is the peculiar nature of grace to soften a heart to the point of being softened toward the circumstances it may find itself knee-deep in. The soft-hearted person changed by grace longs to go beyond being resigned to circumstances to being reconciled to them. The same soul’s need to be reconciled to another soul will find it easier to be reconciled to and even make friends with difficulties and disappointments, sufferings and stress.

Think about it. Don’t you just naturally assume those who are forgiving of others will be more likely to see the redemptive possibilities in their own problematic circumstances?

It’s not immediate, of course. It takes time – so this is obviously beyond the legalist’s understanding. But what happens over time is being more susceptible to seeing the good in everything. You starting wanting to not be mad at people…at your lot in life or even your agenda for a day.

I’ve been convinced for a while that the more you get grace all over you, the more you’ll see goodness and beauty and awesome things everywhere all the time. This is about as certain as a fat kid wanting more cake. This may be established fact.

So lately I’ve wanted to be more forgiving. And it’s caused an expansion in my heart. And just moving toward that horizon has had an effect on the way I see my circumstances. I know I can’t literally forgive my circumstances but the same hatred of them has the same stench of hatred I am apt to feel towards others when I don’t forgive.

As I thought about all of this in that shower and began to dread the work-day in front of me, the dread was washed away like dirt and the day seemed a little brighter. I’m sure, just as I needed a shower the next day, I’ll need to be reminded of the peculiar nature of grace also. I’m just hoping this old, hard heart of mine will continue to soften toward the circumstances God has given.