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.