Blackbird singing in the dead of night/ Take these broken wings and learn to fly/ All your life/ You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

What was the most defining moment in your life? Most Christians would dutifully respond it was the day/night/moment they received Christ as their Savior. Mine is not. Truthfully, I don’t remember that moment. The only thing I remember about the night I became a Christian was I had pressed my fingertips deep into our fuzzy upholstered couch so the velvet designs were tickling under my fingernails. I may have been saved from eternal damnation that night, but I didn’t get all hyped on spiritual crack about eternal life. I felt I’d just been picked up out of the gutter, set on my feet, and left to fend for myself. I put myself in purgatory.


Blackbird singing in the dead of night/ Take these sunken eyes and learn to see/ All your life / You were only waiting for this moment to be free.

I’ve mentioned before the church I spent my young childhood in was highly legalistic and conservative. I always had the idea that God the Father was angry with me, as if He put up with me because I was here and He was supposed to love me. I viewed it as a requirement of His job description. I didn’t see the exciting part of the Christian life. I didn’t see God’s mercy as anything special because I thought He gave it grudgingly. In my mind, I was still the tarnished and blackened and wayward child who was given temporary reprieve until I sinned badly enough to be discarded again. I didn’t see the joy, or the forgiveness, the mercy, the way in which the Father aches over us in love. I still dragged my burden of the “no-no list” everywhere, instead of accepting the freedom of a life in Christ.


Blackbird fly/ Blackbird fly/ Into the light of the dark black night.

I always felt my testimony was boring because I never knew at what point I was truly saved. No worries, when I die, hallelujah by and by, I’ll fly away. But I can’t put my finger on one defining moment when I became a true in love follower of Christ. My testimony always felt a little off kilter.


Blackbird fly/ Blackbird fly/ Into the light of the dark black night.

I knew there was a point where I’d received Christ. The serious part of acknowledging my sin and unworthiness, of admitting that there was no way in heaven, earth or hell I could save myself, and of asking for help that night on the brown upholstered couch. And there’s also the joyful part, where I realized God isn’t perpetually pissed off at me. That He wants to forgive me. That Christ did all the work for my salvation and I don’t have to worry about losing it because I swore or lied or stole something.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night/ Take these broken wings and learn to fly/ All your life

I had what you could call the “typical camp experience” in Christianese. It’s sad we’re beginning to lose our wonder at the process of salvation. And it’s sad so many Christians are still flagellating themselves emotionally. It’s sad we tend to doubt most other people’s experiences with God as valid, but never our own. Kind of like the concept that no one has ever been in love as deeply as you have –  you possess the deepest, truest, fullest love with your significant other which others just couldn’t ever hope to grasp. It’s not true. No love is boring. No matter what your testimony, it’s spectacular. When someone discovers the love of Christ…


You were only waiting for this moment to arise

…it’s always beautiful…
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

…it’s always thrilling…
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

…it’s always an amazing miracle.

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