Monday, August 22, 2005

Holding out for grace

I've had a little time to read lately, with Julia in school. I've read "Broken on the Back Row," which is Sandi Patty's auto-biography. I've never been a big fan of her kind of music (I'm a fan of the message, just not the music) but she tells an interesting story of sin and redemption.

Now I'm reading "Bono: in Conversation with Michka Assayas." This is actually a series of interviews with Bono all packed into one book. It's probably the closest thing to an auto-bio Bono will ever do. Let me tell you, I LOVE this man. I've loved him since I was 11. I've always loved U2's music, but Bono himself is -- I believe -- one of the greatest humanitarians of our time. I especially love reading about his faith, and I'm including part of what he said about that. (I'll note that the interviewer, a friend of Bono's, is not a believer.)

Bono: "You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics -- in physical laws -- every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It's clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the Universe. I'm absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that "As you reap, so you will sow" stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I've done a lot of stupid stuff."

Assayas: "I'd be interested to hear that."

Bono: "That's between me and God. But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I'd be in deep sh**. It doesn't excuse my mistakes, but I'm holding out for Grace. I'm holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don't have to depend on my own religiosity."

I love this because he seems so real -- so imperfect, yet searching -- about his faith. I'm so turned off by so much of the Christian lit out there...the Joel Osteen-type garbage about how great your life can be if you go to church. That's so utterly ridiculous. Some people might be offended that Bono cussed while talking about Jesus. It makes me see how genuine he is. You can say what you want about what life is or what it's supposed to be, but I'm convicted that this life just really sucks. This isn't where we want to be. While we're here on earth, we have to deal with some pretty ugly stuff -- basically the excrement of sin -- or whatever synonym you'd like to apply to it. Bono just chose the one-syllable one.


  • At Mon Aug 22, 08:57:00 AM, Blogger Sarah P said…

    I love your no-fear attitude for the truth. Props on a good post.

    By the way, one of my roommates told me a good Julia story last weekend. She was a camp counselor when you 3 were at Kadesh last year. She said that Julia - then five years old - pulled aside one of her counselors to let them know that she knew what the letters "DNA" meant.

    You have to stop educating your children. It's just absolutely ridiculous how smart your offspring are!

  • At Mon Aug 22, 10:15:00 AM, Blogger Clarissa said…

    I'm not sure I remember ... like, deoxyribonucleic acid or something. And teaching that to my children has never occurred to me. I've failed as a mom. Thanks, Deana.

  • At Mon Aug 22, 07:13:00 PM, Blogger Deana Nall said…

    Sarah -- that was the same year Julia took another counselor aside (you might know him too -- his name is Luke) and said "I have to tell you about something really bad that happened." So they go over to a corner -- no telling what's going through his mind at this point -- and she says "There was this ship called the Titanic and it crashed into an iceberg and lots of people died and it was really, really bad." She was so big-eyed and somber that he was trying to keep from cracking up. He told her that he knew about the Titanic and that, yes, it was a terrible disaster. Then they rejoined the kids in whatever activity they were doing.

    Jenna may make you feel better. Her favorite thing to do is pick week-old Cheerios out of the carpet and eat them. She's a little more my speed.

    Oh and Clarissa -- their dad was going to be a geneticist at one point, so that may explain things. Your kids probably know all kinds of musical terms most kids don't know. Julia would probably think a "double flat" is what happens when Mommy backs over the sprinkler and a garden rake at the same time. Oh -- and I think you got DNA right. I need to go check with Julia, though...

  • At Wed Aug 24, 12:15:00 PM, Blogger Blogging by Tina said…

    Keep this up and I may be turned into a U2 fan. I actually do like some of their music!

  • At Wed Aug 24, 05:31:00 PM, Blogger Jana said…

    Thanks for sharing. Bono's cool.

    "You can say what you want about what life is or what it's supposed to be, but I'm convicted that this life just really sucks."

    I'm convicted of this, too. So why are so many people afraid to admit it? Seems like lots of believers want to paint this world with big, bright smiley faces. And that's just not the way it is. I'm all for being positive and upbeat and having a good laugh but why try to sweep reality under the rug? Let's just all come out and say it like Deana did: LIFE SUCKS. Fortunately we've got family and friends and Grace to walk through all the "excrement" with us.

  • At Fri Aug 26, 03:23:00 PM, Blogger Kyle said…

    Thank you, Deana. I really like Bono, too. And U2's music. I once heard a preacher condemning Bono for the occasional explative while confessing his faith. He wondered how he could sit so straightfaced and utter both in the same sentence. I've never gotten that attitude toward the English language. Some word are more powerful than others and I think we need to choose our words wisely, but sometimes the proper word is "sh!7", or your other heavy terms of frustration or description.

  • At Mon Aug 29, 03:27:00 PM, Blogger Lucinda Ross said…


    If you're on the profanity bandwagon (and I suspect that will change a bit when you have kids of your own), here is something you will probably agree with:

    Click here


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