As I often do, I was surfing ‘YouTube’ the other day and saw the video clip of U2’s “Miss Sarajevo”. A powerful, almost haunting song inspired by a documentary of the same name that Bono helped produce about a beauty pageant held in war torn Yugoslavia with guns booming all around, a sort of protest song.
Bono introduces the song by saying;
I’d like to dedicate this song to those who lost their lives
In London, in the UK bombings last week… and Iraq
We want to turn our song into a prayer
And our prayer, is that we, they, we
Do not become a monster in order to defeat a monster
That’s our prayer
The song moves stunningly through some powerful lyrics that include line like;
Is there a time to run for cover
A time for kiss and tell
Is there a time for different colours
Different names you find so hard to spell
A time to turn aside
Is there a time… a time for human rights?
As the song draws to a close on the massive video screen behind the stage roles out the first six or seven of the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS. A young woman stands and humbly reads them out in the darkness of the now silent stage…
• All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights
• No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms
• No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment…
And so on.
I wiped tears from my eyes as this clip finished and began to wonder, how many times do our church services move us to weep over injustice?
How many times does our weeping lead us to act?
How many times do our actions lead to change, new life – Justice?
I am no Bono. I can’t captivate millions of people with my words. But I live in a nation that allows me freedom of speech (mostly!) – do I use it?
To be honest I am not even sure what I believe on many issues of injustice, not to mention what to do if I had a strong belief on issues of injustice.
Someone asked me recently, “What is one thing you really want to do before you die?”
I was completely surprised, by both my answer and how quickly it came.
“I would like to be arrested for a Christ cause”, I said.
Are there ‘political’ issues in our nation that are ‘anti-Christ’? I think there are. Are there injustices, abuses, creation destruction, human rights violations, all here in our own ‘lucky country’? Too right there are!
Where am I, Where is the Church when it comes to standing…no shouting up for these issues? Sad to say, on the whole it is small minorities around the nation that stand up for these issues. I am too much like the Levite in the Good Samaritan story, he saw the injured man (read the articles, decided to know more about these awful things, write an article for the A/C), crossed over the road, and went on his way.
Sadly most times these minority vocal Christian groups are seen as odd, marginalized, radicals, lefties, liberals and so on by fellow believers.
I sometimes wonder if Jesus might have been more comfortable amongst this crowd!