Rich Mullins went to be with His Lord Sept. 19, 1997. Find a Grave Memorial
Seventeen years later his music, the way he lived his life… still quickens the spirit of the people.
In 1997, the world lost Princess Diana, the Christian music industry lost Rich Mullins and I lost my mother. All in a matter of 105 days. It’s an awful feeling to hear that a loved one, a close friend, an acquaintance, or even someone we looked up…may not have known the Lord. All we can do is hope that at some point in their life they heard the gospel, even on their deathbed and accepted the message of the Cross. Even with my mother, I wondered. I had not lived in my hometown in over a decade, so I admit I had my doubts. It was not until 2004, when I encountered an old friend and we got to talking about my mother and his wife, that had also passed on a few years earlier, that I finally got an answer. Well…he (my friend) shared with me that while I was gone (we were a military family)…he and his wife had seen my mom on and off while I was away and during one encounter he presented the gospel to her and she accepted Jesus. I could not have been more ecstatic and thankful. I knew her as a woman of faith in the few years before she passed on, but I myself was not right with God, and we still lived in different towns, so talk of faith and God was nonexistent. I saw her when time allowed, which was usually when she had fallen ill, but I never asked her about her faith. I praise God that He is faithful even when we are not.
I gave up secular music after I was saved. Except for a little country music, all I listened to was Christian music. Well, very little CCM could reach me like the music of Rich Mullins. The last six years God has been using the music and message of Rich Mullins to draw me closer to Him. Twenty years ago the world was not ready for Rich Mullins. Twenty years later, his music, his message still resonates with the heart seeking God. Twenty years later, CCM lyrics are bit more watered down for the millennial’s that want everything there way. They want it quick. They want it now. They want it to feel good. If it feels good, do it! Just do it! They want to be overcomer’s, without going through the Refiner’s fire. I could be wrong, but I just don’t see anyone seeking God with a whole heart bypassing the Refiner’s fire.
Surrender is not easy.
“Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Francis of Assisi
“I am thinking now of old Moses sitting on a mountain – sitting with God – looking across the Jordan into the Promised Land. I am thinking of the lump in his throat, that weary ache in his heart, that nearly bitter longing sweetened by the company of God…
And then God – the great eternal God – takes Moses’ thin-worn, thread-bare little body into His hands – hands into whose hollows you could pour the oceans of the world, hands whose breadth marked off the heavens – and with these enormous and enormously gentle hands, God folds Moses’ pale lifeless arms across his chest for burial.
I don’t know if God wept at Moses’ funeral. I don’t know if He cried when He killed the first of His creatures to take its skins to clothe this man’s earliest ancestors. I don’t know who will bury me –
…Of God, on whose breast old Moses lays his head like John the Beloved would lay his on the Christ’s. And God sits there quietly with Moses – for Moses – and lets His little man cry out his last moments of life.
But I look back over the events of my life and see the hands that carried Moses to his grave lifting me out of mine. In remembering I go back to these places where God met me and I meet Him again and I lay my head on His breast, and He shows me the land beyond the Jordan and I suck into my lungs the fragrance of His breath, the power of His presence.”
― Rich Mullins
Well said. When I came back to Christ after floundering around as a fresh-out-of-the-house young adult, Rich Mullins was one of the most powerful musical influences I listened to. (Also Dennis Jernigan.)
I’d find I didn’t care for his songs much, until all of a sudden a phrase would “click” for me and I’d realize “Oh! That’s what he’s talking about, and that’s so true, and why have I never heard anyone say it that way?” Then suddenly I’d love those songs.
Thanks for sharing.
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Diana, Rich and my mother also died in 1997, and within six weeks of each other. I have said that for eighteen years now, whenever they come up in conversation. It has been a marker for me, as it has for you.
Thank you for sharing.
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