Rich Mullins was a musical hero to me. I didn’t have the Beatles or Bob Dylan. But in the Christian world and the plastic music of that time, Rich was real to me. In a time and place when you felt like you had to “look good” on the outside, Rich was a mess on the outside because he was a mess on the inside and his songs reflected that very real struggle.
His life modeled what I’ve felt for many years in my own life. There is so much in the last 5 years I’ve gone through theologically and spiritually, so the life of Rich Mullins still impacts me 25 years after his death.
Tish Harrison Warren writes:
|Amid growing wealth and fame, he took up voluntary poverty and eschewed celebrity because of his convictions about the call of scripture. In front of white, conservative crowds, he sang songs about injustices done to Native Americans and criticized the materialism and insularity of evangelical leaders of his time.|
|Yet he never deconstructed his faith and, till his dying day, loved the church and Christian orthodoxy. (On one of his last tours, he even encouraged his tour mates to read G.K. Chesterton’s “Orthodoxy,” a defense of Christian faith that was one of his favorite books.) His life continues to offer a model for how one can acknowledge both the reality of darkness and also the goodness of God, how one can be both honest and faithful, and how one can admit and grieve the failings in the church yet remain committed to it.|
Rich modeled what I try to carry out in my life. I love Jesus and that love is deeper still after 5 years of craziness. Yet, there is a dark world that needs confronting, and the ugliness of the Church in America still confronts my sensibilities day after day. AND YET, I dearly love the Church.
Life continues to be a huge mixed bag. I still cling to Jesus. I still love the Church.