Tag Archives: U2 concerts

An atheist singing a psalm

I believe it was back in 1985.  I was 13 years old and I was going to see U2 with my brother Rick.  “The Unforgettable Fire” tour had come to town.  I think I still have the t-shirt, even though it’s much too small now.  Why didn’t I buy a bigger size?

It was the first of several U2 concerts for Rick and me, but they always ended with the song “40”.  What I didn’t know at the time was that “40” was actually Psalm 40 from the Bible.  I probably wouldn’t have sung it if I knew that.  I was an atheist and I wanted nothing to do with God or Jesus or any of that nonsense.

Nonsense?  How could I predict that, 29 years later, having followed Jesus Christ to best of my ability for the last 20 years, my own son would be in our church’s Easter service so appropriately titled “Nonsense“.  You can read about that by clicking here.

Back to U2.  Rick and I loved U2.  Still do.  We don’t collect the albums like we used to.  We don’t memorize every word like we used to.  But that was a very special time in both of our lives.  Singing the songs, going to the concerts and films, learning what we could about the band members.  Special times.

And as I watched this film clip of U2 singing “40” and heard the crowd start singing again at the end, it brought me right back to us singing and singing as the house lights came up.  An atheist singing a psalm.  Who would have thought?

“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” (Ps. 40:1-3)