My Heroes are Friends?!
by Ben Swanson
My favorite band growing up was U2. The first CD I ever heard played (we only had tapes until then) was The Joshua Tree. The first big concert I ever went to was U2. I can sing along word for word to all of their early work. When my conservative Christian friends questioned my enjoyment of this “secular music” I turned their attention to the Christian themes and Bible quotes in their lyrics.
One of my favorite authors is Eugene Peterson. He not only gave us a modern translation of the Bible, The Message, but he also blessed me with a series of books for pastors…books that help me live into this confusing calling. The New Testament portion of The Message came out near my high school graduation and I can remember reading it in the lounge of my freshman dorm at the University of Minnesota in Morris.
Little did I know that in 2002 Bono sent a video “Thank you” to Peterson for his translation work. A few years later Bono invited Peterson to come and visit him in Ireland…an invitation Peterson had to turn down because of a writing deadline. Imagine refusing an invitation from Bono!
The two have gotten together over the years, and their friendship makes sense. They’re both authentic, truth telling, and God-loving men. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall during the entire course of their times together, but this video tells the story and shows some highlights: