Crazy Love, Street Preachers, and Bono

Crazy Love, Street Preachers, and Bono

We have a tradition in my organization; when U2 announces a concert tour, we buy tickets to the first show we can get by playing the Ticketmaster game. This routine has taken us to Anaheim, St. Louis, Atlanta, and even our hometown of Nashville. So this latest round of Ticketmaster roulette led us to San Jose, CA in the South Bay area of San Francisco. Off we went for a fun weekend in Napa, the Bay Area, and ending with an unforgettable night with the boys from Ireland.
This post won’t be a review of the show because it was like every other U2 show — culture shaping, mind blowing, and filled with more holy moments than the average Sunday morning worship service. Arriving at the show, a very strange thing happened: my worlds collided; I have never been to a U2 show where I didn’t see someone that I knew from around the country. Waiting in line to get into the arena, I noticed an angry man with a sign that read, “trust Jesus” and a megaphone. He was shouting things like “God hates Bono,” claiming to be a follower of Jesus. Apparently, he skipped over the John 3:16 deal when reading his Bible.
With his megaphone, he shouted and condemned everyone who was attending that concert. He said. “No Jesus-loving man of God would be at that concert.” It took every bone in my body not to reply, “Jesus wouldn’t be on the corner condemning people that He had never met or condemning something he knew nothing about.” He didn’t know that same lead singer would be quoting and singing scripture over the audience and speaking up for justice and mercy for the same people that Jesus was most passionate about. Looking back, he probably just needed a hug.
Then out of the corner of my eye, I spotted Francis Chan and thought to myself, “I need a selfie with Francis Chan.” In those few minutes talking to Francis about common friendships and about megaphone man, I was reminded that we don’t need a megaphone to speak loudly; all we need is crazy love. Francis has written the book about it, but more importantly he’s living it. He’s given up his safe mega-church celebrity pastor status to go and love people around the world in China and just up the road from where we were standing in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco.
Love speaks much louder than condemnation. I pray one day that those who follow Jesus would be known as those that love the loudest, not condemn the most. I was standing next to people in line that clearly had felt the hot heat of judgement from a Christian and at that moment, I stopped and apologized and reminded them that Jesus loved them and all of their flaws. Religion calls us to condemn; Jesus calls us to love. Love silences the resounding gong of condemnation.

Even the biggest band in the world needs some crazy love every now and then. So today choose to whisper love instead of shouting in the megaphone of judgement. Love is louder than any street preacher.
I would love to hear how Crazy Love is changing your community. Leave a comment below.

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