I’ve thought a lot lately about impact – about how what we do or fail do do can utterly change the courses of others’ lives. I think most of us, if we’re honest, would say that we want to know for certain at some point in our lives that we changed someone else for the better, for good. So we focus on the bonfire and on the flood, when really, it’s the small things that make the most difference.
I think of Lena with her cardboard sign that said, “Will sing for money” in the streets of Athens, GA, singing “Blackbird” to my group of Christian college kids. Her song echoes in my head even today. What if that small gift we gave saved her life? I think of the hands we hold, the children we comfort, the letters we write, the phone calls we make in the dead of night. I think of the warring prayers amidst the tornadoes of our loved ones’ hearts, the meal we serve to the homeless man, the smile we give to the cashier at Walmart.
And I think…We are all blackbirds. We might not carry a flashy billboard – it might just be a cardboard sign. We might not be pretty to gaze upon. Our wings might be broken sometimes. We might get on other people’s nerves. We might be a little strange or too awkward or too outspoken or too quiet…but we are blackbirds, and we have a song to sing in the dead of night. We are only “waiting for this moment to arise.” And it’s in those moments – not the earth-shattering thunder in the sky or the overpowering tsunami of the soul – that we have the most impact. It’s in those moments that the balm of Christ works through us. Because when you and I and every other member of the Body of Christ decide to do our part, many wounds of the world can be healed. And that dark, black night? We can light it up like the Fourth of July with the hope of Christ.