It was a crystal clear moment in the midst of the bombardment of stimuli that was a U2 show in my home town. Bono is singing Song For Someone and a wee boy acting out Bono’s adolescence is sitting, strumming, walking around that house on Cedarwood Road where Bono first thought through Songs Of Innocence, forty years before he and his teenage mates made those experiences into song. From out of this song of romantic love and spiritual pilgrimage these lines raised themselves into another dimension in my ears:
“If there is a dark,
that we shouldn’t doubt
And there is a light
Don’t let it go out.”
We are five days on from Paris. Europe felt the darkness that large swathes of the planet feels every single daily but never makes the news. Dark. Evil. Is that why Bono threw a twist on the lyric in Belfast, "I know there's so many reasons to doubt/But there is a light/ Don't let it go out"... Reasons to doubt. But hang on to the light… My soul jumped. A powerfully subtle preach.
It reminded me of my sermon a few weeks ago where I was looking at hope and used that scene in Shawshank Redemption where Andy comes out of the hole and sits down in the canteen.
How was it?
How could it be fine?
I had Mozart with me.
They let you take records in?
In here. (points to head and heart) They can’t take it away from you. Do you not have that?
What are you talking about?
Hope is a dangerous thing.
No. Remember that hope is a good thing, Red, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.
When U2 sing of the light then, be in no doubt, it is the light of faith. Jesus said he was the light. U2 never ignore the dark. They project it onto screens as in the video of a Syrian city on this tour. In the midst of the dark they shine or sing a light. A light that bring hope. For those who believe, the dark can be a challenge. The events of Paris can test the soul. On Wednesday night Bono reminded me like Mozart reminded Andy in Shawshank… “And there is a light/Don’t let it go out.”