The Day the Blackbirds Came
By Julie Morris –
The blackbirds descended suddenly on my backyard one quiet winter morning years ago. I could hardly believe my eyes as hundreds of them arrived squawking loudly to one another and perched themselves on every branch of every tree as far as my eyes could see, even in the woods behind my flowerbeds. It felt like a scene straight out of the old Hitchcock movie, The Birds.
When they arrived, I had been writing in my prayer journal. Only what I wrote wasn’t a prayer, but a gloomy list of all of the things I hated about myself: I ate too much, didn’t exercise enough, needed to pray more and watch TV less.… The list went on and on. I remember thinking at the time that this list reminded me of one I had made so many years earlier when I was a little girl. I took the list to my mother and she hugged me, and with tears in her eyes, she told me that I was precious to her just the way I was. Oh, how I longed for my mother. She had been deceased for so many years.
A quiet tug at my spirit brought me back to the present and seemed to be saying, “Pay attention to the blackbirds, because they will show you what is happening to you right now.”
Not knowing what that meant, I went back to my list and the thoughts that had been overwhelming me. I was thinking the all-too-familiar “I wasn’t good enough and never would be…” when a verse I had memorized years earlier floated into my mind. I couldn’t remember where it was or exactly what it said, but the words penetrated deep into my soul: “Who will free me from my slavery to sin? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord! He has set me free.”
“Wow!” I said to myself, “Jesus has already freed me!” Suddenly, the shame caused by all those things on my list lifted, and I looked up and saw hundreds of blackbirds, as if on cue, instantly fly away.
Ever since then, when the blackbirds descended on me and I have felt overwhelmed by my sins and weaknesses, I have thought about those words in Romans 7:21-25 (Living Bible), “So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in! Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.”
Julie Morris is the author of 12 books, a dynamic motivational speaker and founder of two Christian weight-loss programs: Step Forward (www.stepforwarddiet.com) and a lighter and easier version of Step Forward, Guided By Him (www.guidedbyhim.com).