Monday, May 08, 2006

Singing or Speaking

Several weeks ago my friend James called me up and asked, "You have paid to hear Bono sing . . . so would you pay to hear him speak." The answer was obvious.

On Friday night, James, Donna and I went to hear Bono speak. The lead singer of U2 is also quite politically involved in raising awareness of African poverty, AIDs orphans and other tragic death. He wore a black suit and shirt with a yellow tie. I had never seen him in a tie. No one ever sees him in a tie. This must be a very, very special occasion. He did not wear a tie to see any U.S. president nor the Pope nor graduation addresses.

As he pulled at the yellow choker around his neck, I wondered about the ways he himself was likely pulled back stage. Business people, politicians, religious people, Christians and fans. Would he mention the irony of sponsor Exxon Mobil donating 1 mosquito net for each attendant, when petroleum is used to make nets? Was he asked to tone his message down?

The message lasted about 40 minutes. He was funny, comfortable with his notes and confident of his message. He began by talking about his recent trip to the White House to speak at the annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast. He quipped that this must be sign of the apocalypse - a rock star speaking at a prayer breakfast.

Bono touched all his listeners with his single-minded focus on debt elimination. The One campaign has gathered a wide swath of diverse people into One goal of helping to wipe out poverty. He explained the yellow tie around his neck showed his willingness to do anything to get money from big business. He challenged businesses to do the right thing. He spoke out to government and asked for a tithe of a tithe - one percent of a government's budget to be set aside for the poorest and most debt ridden countries in the world. He even spoke out clearly to Christians in the audience to show their faith by how they use their influence and capital.

All and all it was a good speach and a rare experience. To see a Christian, with vast world-wide popularity, speak openly of faith and call listeners to action. I continue to be impressed with any Christian famous or invisible, powerful or dominated, singing or tone-deaf that is willing to use his or her realm of influence to be a dedicated servant of God.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Chosen Three Times

It was said, "rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep."

And now the best news of the week. My sister called today to say that she and her husband will have a baby! This is a short pregnancy for her. It is one month until the baby is born. No, she is not gaining weight. No, she did not just figure out that she is pregnant. She and her husband have been chosen as adopted parents. This is a double blessing. Any mother is chosen by God and the order of the universe to bring a child into the world. But how often is this chosen blessing passed along to another mother and father.

Countless babies are born into the world every day. Countless couples are unable to conceive a child. Donna and I have been there, too. The pain of being unable to bear a child, to bring life into this world, is quite potent. Other couples are surprised, by a pregnancy that is unplanned, unexpected or in circumstances that make them less than idea parents to nurture a child.

Raising a child is incredibly hard work. It thrusts parents into an adulthood that they may or may not be prepared to handle. Wise are the young women who can see their circumstance, celebrate the gift of life and yet still pass the baby into the loving arms of a chosen couple. Wise is the young woman who continues life and gives the best life possible to the young innocent baby. Sometimes real love means we give ourselves and our wants away.

I am so thankful that this young lady treasures life enough to sacrifice herself to pregnancy and delivery in order to give the gift of life to her child and to a tearful couple. May God bless this twice chosen baby and someday may this child know that God has chosen him/her for an eternity of life with God.