Slow Fade

Slow Fade   by Casting Crowns

Be careful little eyes what you see
It’s the second glance that ties your hands
As darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you that are sure to follow

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade

Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattering leads to compromises, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises leave broken hearts astray

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade

The journey from your mind to your hands
Is shorter than you’re thinking
Be careful if you think you stand
You just might be sinking

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white are turned to gray
And thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away

People never crumble in a day
Daddies never crumble in a day
Families never crumble in a day

Oh, be careful little eyes what you see
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see
For the Father up above is looking down in love
Oh, be careful little eyes what you see

Songwriters: John Mark Hall

God gave me this song this morning while I was driving to “The Forge” (Grace Chapel’s Wednesday morning men’s meeting, open to all).  I had Casting Crowns playing in my Spotify and this song came on.  I’d never heard it before.  I’m sure it’s been in my playlist all along but I’d never heard it before.  Suddenly, my heart was sliced open as I listened to the lyrics.  This is an addict’s anthem.  We never “just fall.”  There is always a slow fade of eroded choices.  It’s a cycle.  We never “just find ourselves where we never thought we’d be.”

We had a new man at our table at The Forge, an old college friend of one of the other guys.  As the discussion about the topic of the day progressed, he said, “You know, I can’t remember who sings this song, but there’s a song called ‘Slow Fade’ that really fits what we’re talking about here.”  I said, “No way!” and he kind of looked at me like I was doubting his integrity.  Then I told them what happened in the Jeep on the drive up; that I’d just heard this song.  The table got a little bit quiet but that is the way God works in me these days.

“Here,” God says, “I need you to feel something, to get it deep in your heart, to keep your heart softened toward me, so I’m going to blow your little human mind by tying two completely unrelated instances together.  Can … you … hear … me … now?”

“Yes, Father.  I hear you.”

As the song says, I never crumbled in a day.  Choices are made.  Sure, I now know that I suffered childhood trauma in my past.  Sure, I now know that my brain patterns were hijacked by my continual medication of my childhood traumas.  Still.  Always.  It’s the slow fading of integrity.  Black and white fades into gray.  A compromise of morals.  A failure to remember that Satan is a voracious lion, always hungry, always hunting.  The “slippery slope” isn’t a platitude that has no merit.  It is true and Satan is lying in wait at the bottom of the slope to devour the one who takes his eyes off Jesus.

What was God telling me?  Yesterday, I did something that at the moment I did it I didn’t realize was a trigger for Lynn.  I was not forthcoming about something that I should have been.  Lynn rightly called me out.  That’s when it happened.  An old part of me that I thought was long dead and buried, reared it’s ugly head and I got defensive and I said something completely untrue and hurtful.  It was like the scene in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Fellowship of the Ring” where Bilbo sees the ring around Frodo’s neck and asks to see it.  When Frodo declines this vicious monster erupts out of Bilbo and then quickly retreats.  I know that monster in me existed.  Lynn was abused by it for 32 years.  I thought that it was dead and gone.  I let my guard down.  I’ve not been with my Father as much as I want to be, need to be.  And this thing, this old man, shot out of my mouth and it scared me.  Deeply.  I hate the man I was.  I hate what I’ve done to my family.  I never, ever want to go back.  Yet there he was, my old self, brief as it may have been.

I was so horrified that I stopped and backed down.  I apologized but the words were out there, never to be retracted.  I did what I swore I’d never do again – I hurt my beloved wife.  Unlike years ago I backed off, I apologized, we worked through it.  But the emotions lingered.  That’s when God made his point this morning at The Forge (what an apropos name that is!!).  I came home and confided in Lynn how much that event scared me.  How I thought “that guy” was dead.  I told her about the song.  About my letting my guard down.  And I apologized again.  We talked.  Vulnerably.  Now, she is “Okay.”  And a new lesson learned.

We never suddenly “find” ourselves where we never thought we’d be.  We “choose” ourselves there.  We make the choice to go there, one compromise at a time.  Thank God for Grace – His – and Lynn’s.

Go here to watch the video for “Slow Fade.”