“Tell my wife I love her…
It was a mid June night, in a stadium packed with some 68,000 people, all clapping and singing and dancing and even blowing bubbles to undeniably the best band in the world, U2 (that’s my only personal bias in this writing. I promise.) Each song got me imagining new ways in which God’s Kingdom can come to Earth; each word sung opened that space in my heart capable for holding and dispensing more love; each song a proclamation that love conquers evil, grace over karma, life over death. Oh what a beautiful night it was.
But what really got me during the concert was a video of Captain Mark Kelly on the videotron, up there in space. Bono asked, “What would such a man say from 200 million miles high? Where borders disappear, cities connect in a web of lights, and the conflicts of the world are silent?” Kelly responded, “Looking forward to coming home. Tell my wife I love her very much… she knows,” as Bono and the boys cascaded into “Beautiful Day.” The song ended melodramatically, with Bono echoing sincerely deep choirs of, “Tell my wife I love her very much; she kno-ooo—ooows.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23FrP6qNoxY)
Fast forward to January 8, 2012. Gabby Giffords started off yesterday’s one year Tucson shooting remembrance by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. I cannot watch the clip without getting teary-eyed. Two ten-year-olds then proceeded to tell their memories of best friend Christina Taylor-Green, a nine year old, born on September 11th, who was killed that day. The girls said Christina, “wanted to help others, make a difference in school, and put others first.” Other speakers shared stories, and church bells rang at the exact timing of last year’s shooting. Mark Kelly expressed, “There’s a reality that life is unpredictable, and that even in the best of times, our cherished friends, the good, the caring, the innocent among us, the closest and dearest people we know, can be taken from us.” As I’m watching and reading about the remembrance, I recall back to that concert in June. Tell my wife I love her very much; she knows…
I think back to the part of the concert where Bono talked about the world, that swirling blue ball, interconnected by city lights, where conflicts and wars silenced. I think about that view, from far above, where the colors literally bleed into one. My heart aches for that world. The Kingdom Come. I think about the six lives that were needlessly lost in the Tucson shooting, the love between Mark and Gabby, a love strong enough to stand at the bedside of your wife who can barely speak your name, then the courage to fly up into space, having to leave this person behind for some time. And then I think about the strength Gabby exuded as she’s re-learned how to talk, how to walk, and the courage it took as she made a visit back to that place where the awful incident occurred. All of this feels very emotional, very spiritual to me, as I imagine what it must have been like to have been there on that day.
I then think of God looking over our world, holding together broken bodies, broken souls, comforting slowly healing wounds, and clinging each child of His/Hers so tight. I think of times in my life of complete confusion, times of fear, and times of change, not having any easy answers, but somehow entirely convinced that God was present, right there with me, beside me, breathing hope into my heart. And with that hope, I then think of times where God was still present, this time awing and filling me with wonder. I think of runs through wooded trails, dazzling sunsets and remember the night my dad took me by the shoulder, pointed to the milky way, as we both paused, completely “wow-ed” by such creation. I think of laughter with roommates, sweet “just popped in to say hi” neighborhood conversations, and all of the people God puts in our lives to show us and guide us the way. I marvel at the beauty of creation and what it means to simply be alive and simply wiggle my toes and fingers and experience God’s desire to draw us into His story, His arms, His voice, as if to say,
“Tell my children I love them very much…”
Yes. …We know.