Taking God Out of the Box With U2
I am continually amazed at what boxes we tend to put God in over and over again. I am reading this amazing book called Chasing Francis by Cron about Francis of Assisi and it has been a true eye opener to see how many different places Francis found God that we (I) have disregarded in our sophisticated and technologically advanced society today. The box we put God in on Sunday mornings is a way for us to make sure we don't experience God's fullness through the rest of the week.
A few days ago I read this passage and thought about the different ways we think God can or can't talk to us. It has to be the right location, the right time, place, attitude, do's or don'ts, with or without's, but those are limits we put on God, not the other way around.
A few years ago I went to a U2 concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City, just three months after 9/11. Most of us in the arena that night probably knew someone who'd died in the Twin Towers; we'd lost three people in our church alone. I'll never forget the end of the concert. As the band played the song "Walk On," [lyrics] the names of all those who had died were projected onto the arena walls and slowly scrolled up over us, and then up toward the ceiling. At that moment the presence of God descended on that room in a way I will never forget. There we were, twenty-five thousand people standing, weeping, and singing with the band. It suddenly became a worship service; we were pushing against the darkness together. I walked out dazed, asking myself, "What on earth just happened?' Of course, it was the music. For a brief moment, the veil between this world and the world to come had been made thin by melody and lyric. If only for a brief few minutes, we were all believers.
We may look and listen for God in the "normal" places, but He is present in His creation... birds, music, paintings, literature. Maybe we don't hear God outside of Sunday morning "church" because we aren't looking at his entire creation.