One of 70,000.
It was hard to believe (and still is) that 70,000 people congregated into a stadium to watch four guys rock it out on a stage and 360 degree runway. Yes, that’s right. I was one of the 70,000 people to see U2 in concert this past Thursday, July 14th. And it was unbelievably amazing.
I had been waiting for that concert for two years. The summer of my sophomore year, right before I became a junior in high school, my Dad called me on the phone to share the exciting news that he had bought three tickets for the U2 concert that would be held in July of 2010. I was ecstatic. For those of you who know me personally, you know that I am a huge U2 fan. “With or Without You” gives me chills every time I hear it played and “Where the Streets Have No Name” makes me think of Heaven and what it’ll be like when I finally get there. These are only two of my favorite U2 songs, but I have many, MANY more.
Long story made short, the concert for July 2010 was cancelled because Bono (the lead singer of U2, for those of you who don’t know) hurt his back, had to have surgery, and therefore, had to cancel the rest of his worldwide 2010 tour. I was, to say the least, devastated. A year of waiting…all for nothing. Then the exciting news came that he’d be rescheduling the tour for July 2011. Again, I waited 365 long days for the concert of one of my favorite bands. My family is into U2’s music and I’ve grown up listening to U2, so to finally witness their concert experience was a big deal.
The day finally came, hot and sunny, high 80s. We had great seats and as we waited for the concert to begin, I looked around at the packed stadium. On one of the giant TV screens, the number of people that were in the stadium popped in blue font: 70,000. Sold out: the stadium had reached it’s capacity. From my view, it was just a sea of faces, one blending in with another. Some of my friends and extended family were somewhere in the stadium, as well. Their tickets were on the floor and third level. It was nearly impossible to find them. Although I searched high and low for half and hour (or more…I gave up keeping track after 30 minutes), I could only find a few of them from my seat.
While waiting and looking around, I couldn’t help but think, “Seventy thousand people are here in this stadium to listen to four guys sing. They all blend in to look like a mass of color to me, but God knows each one and how many hairs are on each head.” 70,000 people were there, yet some of them (if not most) didn’t even know Jesus. Hadn’t even given him a thought.
My heart broke as I looked around at the faces around me as this realization started to sink in. Some had sad eyes that told a story with just one look. Even though we were surrounded by people, some looked as if they were empty and alone. They were sad, lost, confused, hurt. Each one had a story to tell. Each one had a past, a present, and a future. Each one was here for a reason and each one was special to God. They weren’t just a face lost in a crowd, they were each known by the Creator, even if they rejected His name every second of their life.
If I could have, I would have run onto that stage, grabbed a microphone, and started telling those 70,000 people about what Jesus had done for them and how even though they might feel alone, God was with them. I obviously couldn’t do that, but my heart yearned to do so. Those people need Jesus. Each one needs Jesus. Each of us needs Jesus, yet for those who know Him, we don’t speak up. We sit in the crowd, watching those around us scurry off, and we sit there hoping that they’ll come to know Jesus.
So, what is my point of this post? The point is that God knows each of us and how many HAIRS are on our heads. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of hair on my head. I don’t have enough patience to braid my hair, let alone count how many individual hairs I have. Yet, God knows the exact number of mine, yours, and the guy’s across the street. If we mean that much to him, shouldn’t the person next to us mean a lot to us, too? They have a story to tell and whether they know it or not, they need Jesus. When given an opportunity, we should tell them about Jesus. Whether it’s simply smiling a genuine smile, asking them how they are, or just telling them about what God’s done in your life, we should never ignore the opportunity God’s placed before you. Because, let’s face it, we’re in need of a Savior. We’re not perfect and we’re helpless. We may think we have it all together, that we’re macho, tough, and ready to face whatever’s thrown our way, but we’re not. When it comes down to it, we’re vulnerable and in need of help. Even though there were 70,000 people in that stadium, we are all the same.
In one of U2’s songs, Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, the lyrics say, “I believe in Kingdom Come. Then all the colors will bleed into one, bleed into one. But yes I’m still running. You broke the bonds and You loosed the chains. Carried the cross of my shame, oh my shame…You know I believe it.”
Jesus did that for us. Let’s go proclaim it. Because there are 70,000 people waiting to hear it and they’re not just a sea of faces, they’re one of God’s masterpieces. They need Jesus.
Let me know your thoughts about this. Leave a comment below!
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