faith? spirituality? religion?
“How long to sing this song
How long to sing this song
How long, how long, how long
How long to sing this song”
I was raised Episcopalian(Catholic Lite). I did youth groups, summer camp, Sunday school, and all that.
For high school, I attended an all girls Catholic high school. That was fun. /sarcasm
Let me explain….
Religion, at least from the Roman Catholic point of view, was all but rammed down my throat. I thought it’d be easy, since the Episcopal service and the RC mass is really the same. A few different words said here and there, but really. Same thing, different pew, you know?
What I didn’t expect was to be told that everything I had learned, everything I had been taught to believe was WRONG WRONG WRONG because I was doomed to all eternity because I wasn’t ROMAN CATHOLIC. For religion class, I even had to buy a Catholic bible?
“And you hunger for the time
Time to heal, desire, time
And your earth moves beneath
Your own dream landscape”
Um, WTF? I tried getting buy my freshmen year with my trusty St James bible that had been given to me when I was confirmed, but NOPE. Needless to say I wasn’t about to pay for anything, so I went to the school’s lost and found, picked out someone else’s discarded CATHOLIC bible and claimed it as my own.
(At the time – this was right before I discovered U2 – I was an avid Duranie. (No, I do not need to explain, I hope) and I promptly defaced said CATHOLIC bible by scrawling all the band members names all over the cover. Yes I will burn in hell. Bring it on.)
By the time I was a senior, I was really questioning everything I had been taught. I still went to church (it was not an option), I still did the Sunday school thing, I still was active in my youth group. But for every service (and school Mass, monthly, they had Masses for EVERYTHING, but hey, it was during the school day and every period was shortened by 10 minutes) that I went to, it was all I could do to keep from raising my hand and saying ‘Um, wait….I have issues’.
“If I could throw this lifeless
Lifeline to the wind
Leave this heart of clay
See you walk, walk away
Into the night
And through the rain
Into the half-light
And through the flame”
The Sunday after I graduated, my mom woke me up for church. Since by then, I was HOOKED on U2 and had stayed up until 3 or so watching MTV and VH1’s Nightflight (remember THAT?!) (because I had no social life) I was in no mood to deal with God and sermons and what not, I said I wasn’t going.
I was almost 20 (repeated 2 grades, long story for another day) and as an adult, well. I, just no. Not going. My mother wrung her hands, clutched her pearls (no not really, but I’m from the South. Humor me) and looked Very. Sad.
Over the next few years I went to church less and less. Mainly for Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter. You know, the typical ‘I go to church on major holidays, that’s enough’ sort of thing.
“I try to sing this song loud
I try to stand up
But I can’t find my feet
I try, I try to speak up
But only in you I’m complete”
I wrestled with what I had been taught, with what had been (let’s be honest here, really from my point of view) rammed down my throat in high school and it just no longer made sense. I had too many questions. There was so much that didn’t make sense to me anymore.
Being the hard core die hard OMG SILLY FAN GIRL U2 fan that I am really posed an interesting issue for me and for friends who knew of the band’s faith in God.
How could I be such a fan of a band who, in the early days of their career, were more or less labeled a ‘Christian rock band’?
“You, I’m waiting for you
You, you set my desire
I trip through your wires”
Their music speaks to me. I have no other way to describe it. The lyrics touch the very soul and heart of me. Every time I’ve seen them live, I feel like I have been reborn.
I still don’t have an answer for that. The best one I can give is that the music, the lyrics speak to me. It touches my soul, my heart, my mind.
I was born
I was born to be with you
In this space and time
After that and ever after
I haven’t had a clue”
Over the years I’ve met so many fellow lifer fans who feel the same as I. We might not be religious but the boys and their music ‘speak’ to us.
Going to a U2 concert is as close to a religious experience as I get these days. But OH MY what an experience it is. Unless you’re a die hard fan like me, there is really no other way to describe it. They reach out to and touch each and every person in that venue.
Every song can touch someone in some sort of way. There are probably about five songs that the band can sing live that will bring me to tears.
I leave a concert feeling like I have been baptized and reborn.