It's hard to believe that I have now been to TWO U2 concerts in my life. Sunday night in St. Louis and 6 years ago in Chicago for the Vertigo tour. In those six years so many things have changed, but as I danced and screamed and jumped at the concert on Sunday, I realized that I was a much better fan at this concert. I think I know who to thank for that.
Back then, I was uncomfortable with my body. I know I didn't dance at the Vertigo tour concert. But I know I wanted to. You did not raise your hands in church, let alone dance. You could tap your foot, or occasionally, brutally and awkwardly, clap. I felt trapped inside my body most of the time in church, wearing it modestly like a burka, not showing anything of what was inside me. Only tears were acceptable during "special music." At Vintage, its safe for me to show my emotional skin. It's taken me years, but I danced at our friend's wedding. And I danced at the concert. Somebody behind us has pictures of a mid-thirties mom jumping up and down and waving her hands in the air like a fool. A completely un-self-conscious, joy-filled nut.
Back then, I didn't know what social justice was, let alone care about it. At Vintage, I have learned so much about living in the real world and how I can help. In previous churches, I felt afraid to get involved in something in the community because the only place that was acceptable for me to serve was in the church. Which was ironic because the churches only really helped other churches that they agreed with; the unfiltered world, not so much. At Vintage, I have served a meal in a soup kitchen, learned about the evils of sex trafficking, embraced my responsibility to recycle and conserve water, become informed about the food that we eat, and grown in my compassion for the struggles of the LGBT community. When U2 sang Walk On, I already knew why the song was written and how it supported Aung San Suu Kyi and I was happy to hear that she had been released from house arrest. I was moved by the Amnesty International workers candles and what they represented.
Back then, there was very little ceremony, only routine. I realized as I watched the two couples in front of me, that people long for ceremony. They want some way to be guided into larger experiences. As they drank the night away, you could see their awkward desire to connect with one another to strengthen the bond that was created by what we were experiencing. They high-fived, clinked their bottles of beer together, trying to connect what was happening to who they were with. Being at the concert with our kids, of course we hugged and kissed and laughed and took pictures of ourselves together. But because of our Vintage family and the ceremony we experience there, it was a familiar feeling. Something big was happening in our souls and we were ready for it because something big happens in our souls almost every week at Vintage.
(I want to apologize to Larry and Adam. Because I wanted pictures of them too, but my camera was slow. I love you guys just as much as Bono and The Edge )