I was lying in my hospital bed Thursday morning when one of my doctors stopped by. She has a knack for stopping by when I have my headphones on and am drifting in and out of sleep. She gently touched my arm, brought me back into reality and apologized for interrupting my quiet time. She then asked, “So what music do you listen to?” She knows I am a pastor and I am sure she was expecting something different than my answer. I shared with her how U2 has been my go to group during this journey and how I find their pursuit of the sacred in their music fascinating. For the next ten minutes my doctor and I talked U2 and spirituality. It was if I did not even have cancer and we were just two friends talking about life. It was fun. That all came to an end and we went back to talking about my health and what I needed to do to stay healthy and what our next steps were going to be. She ended our time together by saying, “I have to go home and listen a little closer to some of U2’s lyrics.” I laughed and said, “It will give us something to talk about next time.
This hospital stay I found myself drawn to the song, “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”
I remember when this song was first released as part of the Joshua Tree album. There were some who used it’s title and deep yearning for something deeper and more to question the faith and spirituality of those who were singing it. Those who raised such questions reasoned, “If they truly had faith in God…in Christ…they would have found all they need and would not need to find anything else.” There were articles written, words spoken, commentary offered that questioned the faith of those in the band based upon the simple title of the song.
I could offer thoughts on those critiques. My thoughts would be neither uplifting nor grace filled. I have learned, or am learning, that I do not need to speak into every situation. I was taught, “if you have nothing nice to say…be still”…so I will be still.
What I will do is share what I have come to hear within the lyrics of this song. Recognizing that we all hear songs differently…I offer you what this song has come to mean to me.