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The Importance of Going For It: a Blind Man Shows Us How

As the saying goes, some are born great, and some have greatness thrust upon them.  The problem with the latter clause is that some interpret it as a mandate to sit back and wait for things to happen, when the reality is that we all bear a responsibility to use what God has given us, and take the opportunities when they are in front of us. Sometimes, we just have to go for it.

At a recent U2 concert in Nashville, a fan showed a certain level of "go for it!" and it resulted in a magnificent moment that, because we're in the Youtube age, we all get to witness.

As the story goes, a blind fan--Adam Bevell, from Arizona--was wearing a sign saying "Blind Guitar Player" while attending their show on Saturday, July 2. After the last song, the band waved to the audience, then headed out of sight, their evening's mission complete. But out of the corner of his eye, Bono saw the fan and his sign, and did a U-turn toward the fan. Less than 30 seconds later, the man was on stage in front of 45,000 people.

While the chance to share a stage with Bono is remarkable enough, it was only the beginning. U2's vocalist then asked the man what he wanted to play. He responded with "All I Want is You" which he said he wanted to dedicate to his wife. Bono placed his own guitar over Bevell's shoulders and then sang that very song as the man played along. Before too long, the other band members joined in, and the audience sang along. Can you imagine what that moment was like for this fan? "Once in a lifetime" probably doesn't begin to cover it.

As if all this weren't enough, after the song ended, Bono gave the man the guitar (an “Irish Falcon” Gretsch, one of only a few in the world like it). An incredible ending to an unbelievable story.  "Bono gave me hope in what literally is a dark world for me. I will cherish this memory forever", he said the next day in an interview.

And it all started when a man dared to wear a sign asking to play on stage with U2.  What audacity! Who does he think he is?

I wonder how many great moments I have missed out on simply because I didn't dream big enough. I don't say that as a lament, but I do recognize, as I type it, that God is challenging me to live a life that is not so restricted by my timidity and passivity.  What would my life look like if I lived by these words?  ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ Isaiah 41:10

What about you?
Note: See another version of this event on U2's site here.

(Tearjerker alert: When they got to the line  "You say you'll give me eyes in the moment of blindness" around the 2:38 mark, I choked up)


Karen said…
Love this story, James. Thank you for sharing it. I had not heard. This is really a blessing.
James said…
Thanks, Karen. I think there are a lot of truths and lessons in this story for us all.

Interestingly, I was about to go to sleep at 11:00 last night when I read about it for the first time. At that point, I had to write about it. I could not sleep until I wrote this post. It's been 24 hours and I am still somewhere between extremely enthused and overwhelmed by it.

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