Song of the Week - Slow Fade

When I first got The Altar and the Door album, "Slow Fade" was one of the songs I kind of passed over, giving it the old "It's good but..." in favor of some of the other cuts.

This past February, I was working at the Rock the Sound event in Amherst, Mass. I walked into the arena at the beginning of the Casting Crowns set. I was thoroughly enjoying the show, when Mark Hall walked to the front of the stage. He began reading out of Psalm 1:

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful...

Then Mark, ever the youth pastor, began to explain what this verse meant to him. He drew our attention to the pattern - that the man first walks, then stands, then finally sits. There is a pattern to sin, he said, and it creeps up on us slowly. It is literally a "slow fade."

Ever since that moment, I've not heard this song the same way. This song is amazingly powerful. The other day, I was driving home from work, and this song began playing on my Sansa. As it played, I began getting visions of my daughters, each in a different stage of growth, each growing faster than I can imagine. I began feeling conviction for all the things I can do better, all the areas where I stumble. Word to the wise - don't ever try driving through New Haven with tears in your eyes.

Behind this song is an incessant, pounding rhythm, that comes and goes and weaves it's way throughout. It's kind of like the end of "Dream On" - that insistant pulsing that you don't quite get out of your head. Even during the verses, when it's not being played, it still haunts. The lyrics are masterful - a portrait of a slow decline:

"It's a slow fade, when you give yourself away,
A slow fade, when black and white turns to grey..."

The verses also tell us of the importance of our witness, especially to our children:

"Be careful little feet where you go
For it's the little feet behind you
that are sure to follow."

For me, the most powerful lyric is in the bridge:

"The journey from your mind to your hand
is shorter than you're thinking...
Be careful if you think you stand
you just might be sinking..."

The real heart-wrencher is at the end of the song, where Mark Hall has his little girl Reagan sing the tag:

"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."

I might do something with this song and our children's ministry at some point. It's just too powerful to ignore. Until then, here is the Crown's video, itself a powerful testimony to the power of soul ties to slowly shatter a family:


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