Fifteen years of age is a tough time for most of us. I felt like bare wires during my teenage years- uncertain of who I was physically, emotionally, and socially. Many of us feel this way during adolescence, and Chloe was no different. She possessed the same challenges as her peers, plus one notable addition: she had a club foot.
One day, Chloe was walking through her school cafeteria, when a group of girls took notice of her. Appallingly, they pinned her to a table, removed her shoe, and mocked her in front of the whole school.
The incident left Chloe devastated, and unwilling to go back to school. Her Dad tried to help, but he found his daughter despondent. Ultimately, he decided just to spend time with her and listen to music. His favorite band was “U2”, and Chloe became fixated on one of their songs, “Invisible”. She listened to it over and over again. The song possessed a palliative property for Chloe, and slowly she regained strength and confidence. She eventually did return to school and began helping victims of bullying.
But, Chloe’s story is far from over. Her Dad entered a contest to meet “U2’s” lead singer, Bono, before a show. The odds were not in their favor, but fate was, and Chloe and her Dad met Bono before a show in Denver, CO. Bono arrived, autographed a red guitar, and introduced himself to the family. He listened intently to Chloe’s story and ultimately asked her a question. He said, “Chloe, what are you passionate about?” Chloe was somewhat embarrassed and mumbled that she wasn’t sure of her passion. Bono responded by telling her about a special prayer in his family. He thought Chloe might find her passion if she said the same prayer, “I’m available for work. You stay available for work, and the work will wash over you.”
Chloe would eventually address her whole school, and later neighboring schools about the effects of bullying. She was invited to give a TEDx talk, and during her speech, a publisher from Penguin Random House heard her story and offered her a book contract. She published her book and continues to inspire others with her story.
Before parting ways with Bono, Chloe’s Dad asked when he last played the red, autographed guitar. He wasn’t sure, but he gave them the email address of a guitar technician who would know. A few weeks later, her Dad received the answer: Bono last played the guitar in Dublin, Ireland. He was in the studio recording the song, “Invisible”.
Since hearing Chloe’s story, I’ve said this prayer daily. Nothing is more powerful than understanding we not only have a purpose but the privilege of living our purpose each day. Make yourself available for work, and don’t be surprised when amazing things happen.
** This depiction of Chloe’s story is based on an account told on the “Big Questions with Cal Fussman” podcast. (Her story begins at the 33:00 minute mark).
[…] to help others, it will give you immeasurable comfort. I personally embraced this philosophy after listening to a story about U2’s Bono. He shared with a young fan a simple family prayer: I’m available for work. Bono advised her […]