Thursday, February 18, 2010

U2 "Unforgettable Fire" Devotional #1

(against all odds...Sonya and I haven't aged since this 1984 photo! (:
Even if the mountains..)

U2 has soundtracked my life...
heck, even their soundchecks have sometimes soundtracked my life.

The discussions about what one particular song is about (Hiroshima?Pentecost? The end of the world? An unromantic romance?) are all partly wrong and largely right, I would guess.
Besides, aren't all those suggested topics almost synonymous at points?(:

No matter. The title song, and most of the album by the same name ("The Unforgettable Fire"), are more about impressions and atmosphere than strict themes.

Besides, I know what the song is about....for me.

A year before, I had met Jesus.
Then, about the time the album came out, I had met the most amazing and beautiful woman ever born (For a hilarious typo about my meeting those two in quick succession, see this)!
I just wasn't sure she thought I was amazing...or beautiful.

So I had to risk it all.

I told her "I love you!," as she headed off to bed.

UH, a bit of explanation: I was staying overnight at her parents home, as her dad was VP at our college, and he had invited some of Sonya's out of state college friends over (like me) for a holiday meal.

Some stayed late. Some stayed over. Including me.

I gulped as she smiled, and left the room.
She said nothing.

I did the only thing I could do as I lay down to regret...or not...all that I had just done and said:
slapped on the headphones.

Of course, U2 was on.

"The Unforgettable Fire" was just reaching its unforgettable instrumental midsong crescendo .

At least I could lose (find?) myself in the music...even if she didn't love me, too...

The door creaked open.
Turns out the most amazing and beautiful woman on the planet was responsible.

I probably prayed quickly.

I likely said, "Oh, crap...she is gonna tell me we should just be friends..."

"I love you, too," she slyly snuck in, and shut the door.

What happened next was a supernaturally timed soundtrack:

It was the voice of Bono, recovering from the instrumental swell, to belt out with passion,

"And if the mountains should crumble, or disappear into the sea, not a tear, no not I..'

I knew it was a psalm. It was also an answer to prayer and life.
It was how I felt. I was Pentecosted...and she loved me!!!!!
I wouldn't miss crumbled mountains if I had Sonya!

But just to tweak my expectations and euphoria...
that strange, suddenly dark outro of the song made sense for the first time:

"Don't push me too far tonight!"


What was that coda? A gentle warning that life could only go downhill after my two mountaintops?
A reminder that all human love is Hiroshima, Pentecost, the end of the world, and unromantic romance?

I dunno.
But I do know that 25 years with Sonya, 27 with Jesus..
splicing in 31 years with U2 has been:


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