U2's Bono Wrote Poem for Billy Graham Based on Preacher's Life Journey

Franklin Graham, Bono and Billy Graham in Montreat, North Carolina, in 2002 |
Ruth Bell Graham and Bono at the Graham family’s Montreat, North Carolina home in 2002 |
The handwritten poem penned by Bono for Billy Graham is on display at the Billy Graham Library in Charlotte, North Carolina. |
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U2 rock band leader, Bono, once wrote a poem for Billy Graham after visiting the retired evangelist in his home in the mountains of western North Carolina.

Bono, who considers himself a born-again Christian, gave Graham the poem titled, "Journey of Faith," in 2002. Now, the handwritten poem is on display at the Billy Graham Library's permanent collection in Charlotte.

"The library's Journey of Faith tells the story of how God used a dairy farmer from North Carolina to reach the world with the Gospel message, offering the free gift of peace with God to millions," reads a statement on Billy Graham's website.

In addition to the poem, a photograph of Ruth Bell Graham and Bono, is behind the glass and shows them sitting together as Bono holds a book in his lap.

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association released an image of the poem in light of U2 releasing their latest album "Songs of Innocence," which was available for free download on iTunes last week.

Shortly after writing his poem, Bono also teamed up with singer Pat Boone and other musicians to record "Thank You Billy Graham" as a tribute to the preacher for his 87th birthday.

According to Sojourners, Bono said his friendship with the Graham family began when he received a surprise phone call from his office while his band was on tour in 2002.

"I told them, I said, 'This is a big deal. This is Billy Graham!' And they all said, 'That's great. But we're in the middle of a tour.' So I rented a plane and flew there right away in case he might forget," said Bono. "I was picked up by his son, Franklin, and driven a couple of hours up to their house. I met briefly with him and his wife, Ruth ... the blessings of an older man mean a great deal to me. Particularly this man."

Bono also shared that even though he's connected with several preachers during his time as a musician, it is Graham that he values most, especially since he had heard about the evangelist long before he ever met him.

"I remember hearing about this fellow called Billy Graham. Church people would push him on you like your friends at school would push Elvis Presley records. Actually, they looked kind of similar — both stars from the South who spoke with a twang and had giant crowds come to see them," said Bono.

Below is a transcript of Bono's poem to the Grahams:

The journey from Father to friend
is all paternal loves end
It was sung in my teenage ears
In the voice of a preacher
loudly soft on my tears
I would never forget this
Melody line
Or its lyric voice that gave my life
A Rhyme
a meaning that wasn't there before
a child born in dung and straw
wish the Father's love and desire to explain
how we might get on with each other again…

To the Rev Billy Graham (that preacher)
Ruth and all the Graham family
From Bono (March 11 2002)
With much love and respect

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