Rich Mullins: September 19th 1997

September 19, 2010

I met Rich Mullins once.  I was driving a friend’s truck around Colorado Springs in the Fall of ’95 and had no idea where I was going.  Just wasting time while he was playing golf (which is a bigger waste of time to me).  Flipping through the radio stations I caught what sounded like a live recording of Rich Mullins singing.  Turns out he was just down the street at the Media Play (remember those?) store doing a small concert with Ashley Cleveland.  When I arrived I was in disbelief at how few people were there… “this can’t be right!?!”  There were probably fewer than 20 people standing in a circle listening as Rich and Ashley sang a few songs and spoke about life and their music.  I remember it distinctly because Rich would stop and read from a book called “Orthodoxy” by G.K. Chesterton.  That was an odd way to be introduced to Chesterton but I’m thankful I went and bought the book that same day.  It’s one of the few you’ll want to re-read throughout your life.

In-person Rich Mullins came across like a nearly stoned-out hippie with a guitar.  But when he spoke his words rang true and deep.  I remember leaving there  thinking “this guy really knows Jesus Christ in a depth that I long for.”  That’s why I was a fan then, and that’s why I’m one today.

He passed away on September 19th 1997 in a violent car crash somewhere in Illinois.

I thought I’d share a few quotes:

“I feel like God is leading me out, so I’m kind of sleeping with my shoes on.  When God parts the sea, you don’t want to say, ‘Oh rats, where are my sandals?”

“Our faith becomes real when we focus on what never changes instead of our ever-changing opinions.”

“If you’re a plumber and you become a Christian, you don’t quit being a plumber to become a preacher.  You become a great plumber because your work is infused by your faith.”

“That’s (Quaker tradition) going to have an effect on the way I interpret the Scriptures; that’s going to give me my perspective.  And I need to be aware of what my perspective is, so I can both appreciate it and be a little distrustful of it.”

“God calls us to ‘be strong’ and we mistake that for a call to omnipotence.”

There are a ton of good songs to quote from but here is one of my favorites:

“I’ve seen silver turn to dross
Seen the very best there ever was
And I’ll tell you, it ain’t worth what it costs
And I remember my father’s house
What I wouldn’t give right now
Just to see him and hear him tell me that he loves me so much”

Listen to it here.

What were your favorites?


2 Responses to “Rich Mullins: September 19th 1997”

  1. laura Says:

    “Our faith becomes real when we focus on what never changes instead of our ever-changing opinions.”

  2. laura Says:

    That is a beautiful song! I’m almost ashamed to say that I don’t know or ever listened to his music!

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