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Maybe you’ve heard. Bono is going to be on the Focus on the Family daily broadcast tomorrow. Yes, that Bono.
He’s the rare rock star who uses his platform as a world-renowned musician to spotlight important issues from time to time. Not only that, but then he backs it up by springing into action, whether it’s working to eradicate extreme poverty or combating worldwide AIDS. Oh, and he’s sold 140 million albums in the meantime.
On the broadcast, he’ll be addressing many things he doesn’t typically cover in a typical interview. He’ll be talking about what started his Christian journey, why he’s passionate about making a meaningful difference in the world, and a bit about his journey as a father of four and a husband for three decades.
I remember the first interview I ran across where Bono talked about his family, specifically his own dad. It was a discussion a little more than a decade ago with Rolling Stone, and he talked candidly about the final days of his dad’s battle with cancer.
Bono recalled how hard it was on his father to be vulnerable as his disease progressed.
“My dad was a tough guy,” Bono recalled. “My prayer for him was that he would keep his dignity … but with cancer, he didn’t. Cancer is very cruel in that it kills you so slowly. I sat there and held his hand. Things he would never let me do.“
“He was trapped,” U2’s front man said with a chuckle in the 2001 interview.
But in the midst of this season of praying for his dad to retain his dignity as cancer continued to ravage his body, and watching his father become increasingly reliant on others, Bono had what he referred to as “an epiphany.”
“Maybe dignity is not such a big deal after all. I had it up there with righteousness. Something you aspire to,” Bono said. “Dignity is maybe a human construct. It may be vain. Maybe humility is the eye of the needle that we all have to pass through.”
His comments stuck with me as a powerful example of how our relationship with our fathers evolves during our lifetimes. It’s also an illustration of the reality that God doesn’t always answer our prayers with specifically what we ask for. Instead, He answers them with what He knows we need and is in His will.
I’m looking forward to hearing more about the journey of a man whose music I not only enjoy – but whose heart to serve others provides an example of the Gospel in action.
Rich Bennett (@coloradorich) is a contributor for Dad Matters and the Vice President of Ministry & Marketing Strategy for Focus on the Family.
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--I had the undeniable honor of meeting U2 way back in the early 80s as they played in a church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Not many were there, but those who were knew and understood the band's conviction to their writings and their beliefs. After their performance, the band and the small group I was with went searching for a place to sit and relax in a city that closes early! Bono was especially kind to me, first being interested in my very Irish name and then after explaining my irish background. They had not been away to the states much by then and I was a piece of home to them. The kindness, respect and genuine curiosity in others rather than then the typical "rock star" mentality I had experienced from other bands in the past (we owned a music store and met MANY bands during that time)strengthened my belief in Bono as a true Christian who had a deep concern for the well being of others and the state of the world around us. Thank you for interviewing him and allowing others to experience this man of God who may not wear it on his sleeve but lives it in his "being".
--@ irish love - I wish I had a chance to see U2 in a small venue like that; the only time I saw them in concert was on their ZooTV tour at Mile High Stadium. We were in the rafters, but it was still great. Like you, I love that Bono continues to do meaningful things to help those in need with the platform God has given him.