Yesterday was 23 years since the world lost the poetic/prophetic voice and example of Rich Mullins. I somehow missed it in social media yesterday until late, but I’m reflecting on it this morning, so I’m listening to his music on Spotify. His was a voice that if I heard it, I would instantly tune my ears in and before long I would be fighting back tears. I have forgotten how much his music touched me so deeply. There isn’t much music today that does that to me.
He struggled in real time, which was just so odd in the high flying evangelical world of the 90s. You weren’t supposed to struggle in front of people. Rich did. A lot. He smashed records with “Awesome God”, which is NOT my favorite song. But it kept him writing all the other songs, which I adored.
As I listen to his songs this morning I find those tears coming again. We need Rich Mullins today. We need his quirky smile radiating out as he gently chides evangelicals by saying things like, “You’re not bad. You’re just wrong.”
I’m glad his songs are still here. His voice still lives. We may need a Rich Mullins for our time… a combination of complicated joy and prophetic lyrics. And if we had him… we would ignore him as we scream out our bumper sticker (Twitter re-sharing) shallow evangelical slogans declaring our shallow rights to political power or something like that.
We are still shallow. Rich tried to lead us deeper.
And there’s a loyalty that’s deeper
Than mere sentiments
And a music higher than the songs
That I can sing
The stuff of Earth competes
For the allegiance
I owe only to the Giver
Of all good things (From “If I Stand” by Rich Mullins)