From the brightest star
Comes the blackest hole
You had so much to offer
Why did you offer your soul?
I was there for you baby
When you needed my help
Would you deny for others
What you demand for yourself?
So billows Bono in Crumbs from Your Table on “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb”, U2’s latest album. The beauty of art is that it’s open to interpretation by the beholder. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that my thoughts are what Bono had in mind when he wrote this song, but I would offer they are probably pretty close. The whole album is powerful lyrically and musically, but this song really spoke to my heart as a follower of Christ.
I believe Bono is writing from the perspective of the poor, the oppressed, those held captive by sin, those blinded by consumerism/materialism, etc. (you know, those same people that Jesus talked about in Luke 4). He’s writing to us, the Church. I believe Bono is part of the Church, but his use of first person here speaks volumes to me. Some would say this is an indictment against the whole Church for it’s lack of outreach to the world, and I may agree, but that’s not where I’m going with this. I saw it as God speaking to my heart, calling me to look inside myself and see where I’m lacking. Jesus doesn’t condemn His followers; He lovingly instructs and guides us. He has lovingly instructed and guided me through this song.
The song starts out (as shown above) with an interesting paradox. I am a Light in the world, the church is a city shining on a hill, yet in my life, I sometimes feel like I am the blackest hole to those around me. I have so much to offer those in bondage, but yet I sometimes offer my soul to the bondage that is this world system. I come to look just like the world…caught up in consumerism, schedules, etc. instead of a light shining in darkness. I demand freedom from that bondage, but deny it for others by not inviting them to come to “the banquet table” that Jesus offers….the Kingdom of God among us.
You speak of signs and wonders
I need something other
I would believe if I was able
But I'm waiting on the crumbs from your table
God has really changed my heart in this area. I used to make it my mission to “prove” from the Bible that everyone needs to speak in tongues, that the age of miracles is still here, that God wants everyone materialistically wealthy, etc etc. I still believe some of those things (maybe one out of the three listed there), but is that what those in bondage really care about? I would offer no, they don’t. They want crumbs from the banquet table. Just a ‘crumb’ of Father’s love, given through our hands to someone else, is worth more than my need to win a debate about the merits of tongues and miracles. Praise God that I’m waking up, as are a lot in the church.
With a mouth full of teethYou ate all your friends
This goes along with my thoughts above. I, and others, have lowered the value of the Kingdom to those around us by allowing them to see us fighting with each other over non-essential doctrines, whether to use PowerPoint slides in sermons, whether women can wear jeans, etc. I am starting to view the Scriptures more for transformation and less for information to win arguments with. How will the world know we are His disciples? Of course by the thickness of the Bible we carry, and how much doctrine we can quote. No Rob, by our LOVE for one another.
Those are some thoughts that I’ve had in processing through this song. It may sound negative, but it was very positive for me. Positive in that God loves me, and you, so much that He never lets us settle with where we are in His journey.
Into the unknown fellow journeyers…….