"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Wednesday, January 21, 2004 On Monday, U2 lead singer Bono was in Atlanta to receive one of the King Center's highest honors, the Salute to Greatness award.
I invite you to read the whole article about the evening at http://u2log.com/archive/002703.shtml, but I wanted to send you this quote (forwarded to me by my good friend, the Rev. Beth Maynard). If you didn't know it, among Bono's many gifts is that he is one of the world's great preachers. You can feel the Holy Spirit pulsing through his words.
If you're like me, with the political fighting in our nation and in our church, this is an easy week to just get mad. I am grateful to Beth for forwarding these words to me ... they remind me of the great opportunity and joyful responsibility we have to be the people of God. They remind me of what is truly important ... and that all the things that have made me angry this week just don't matter if we can keep our eyes on that prize.
Here is part of what Bono said:
"Dr. King used to like to tell the story of the prophet Jeremiah,"Bono began. "Jeremiah, he said, looked out and saw evil people often profiting, and the good and righteous people often suffering. Jeremiah wondered at the injustices in life and asked, 'Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there?'And Dr. King went on , 'Our slave forefathers came along. They too knew about the injustices in life. But they did an amazing thing. They took Jeremiah's question mark and straightened it into an exclamation point and in one of their spirituals they could sing, There IS a balm in Gilead that makes the wounded whole. There IS a balm in Gilead to heal the sin-sick soul.' "
"Sometimes he says it, sometimes he sings it. It's an important tune,"Bono continued."Today, four decades on, at an AIDS clinic in Zambia or Uganda or Ethiopia, there is a dying woman who is asking her God the same question. Is there a balm in Gilead? she asks. Well, God hears her, but do we? Because we too know the answer. The answer is NO. There is no balm in Gilead. There is no balm in Gilead. We've got the medicine and the money and the same love for justice that guided Dr. King. If we apply these things -all of them-and we begin to be worthy of his example, and take another step in our long journey of equality, we're going to get there.
We are the balm in Gilead. You are. I am. David Anderson is. Louie Crew is. Robert Duncan is. Susan Russell is. Frank Griswold is. Peter Akinola is. Millions of faithful and searching people in our pews and millions more who wouldn't be caught dead in them are.
We've got the medicene and the money and the same love for justice that guided Dr. King.
And if we apply these things -- all of them -- and we begin to be worthy of his example, and take another step in our long journey of equality, we ARE -- with God's help -- going to get there.
| Mike at 1/21/2004 01:17:00 PM
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"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."