So I put in my ear buds and push play all under U2 this morning. I’m ready to be stirred in my soul. I’m ready to relive memories of long ago when U2 was the soundtrack of the best summer of my life.
But the thing about U2 is you have to expect the unexpected. For up came Miami. A song I am so not feeling. A song I’m not feeling a spiritual vibe for. A song that pulses with the beat of a city; a place of cigars, bikinis, car chases, and excess. “Bought two new suits / Miami / Pink and blue / Miami / I took a picture of you / My mammy / Getting hot in a photo booth / Miami.” The song pulses with a consumerist excess.
Is this consumerism Bono sings of creating something beautiful? “I said you looked like a Madonna. / You said maybe. / You said I wanna have your baby, baby. / We could make something beautiful / Something that wouldn't be a problem / We could make something beautiful / Something that wouldn't be a problem / Least not in Miami.” In the new suit you look like a Madonna. Out of something crass can come something beautiful. Something that isn’t a problem. In this bleak landscape, when we are searching for God no place is totally forsaken.
As I was listening to this song on repeat, the image that came to my mind was from the prophet Hosea. God tells Hosea to go and marry a prostitute in order to show the fidelity of God even in the face of infidelity. Just as Hosea was faithful to his wife, God will be faithful to Israel awaiting its return from the distraction empire.
Can something good come out of something wrong? That is the hope we have in the God of Israel. That God can use what was intended for evil for good. The prophets are continually calling us back to faith in the one who can create something out of nothing.
When I had just spent the most horrible weekend with my ex, he had been just mean to me all week at my family reunion. I even told him to go away and visit his friends and come back later. Well when we got home, I had put our son to bed and was watching the news. There was President Clinton saying I have not had sex with that woman. Of course we all knew he was lying and that this was just his last attempt to save face. So I crawl into bed with the ex, he says we have to talk… boy those dots are big. I have fallen in love with someone else who I am never going to see again and I don’t love you, in fact I never loved you… I cried… I talked to a friend…I talked to a pastor… I moved out… I found God or God found me. The infidelity of my ex led me to reconnect with the fidelity of God. Out of the mess came something new. God used my mess to give me a call to reach out to the mess of the world. “We could make something beautiful / Something that wouldn't be a problem / We could make something beautiful / Something that wouldn't be a problem.”