I love the twists and turns Life takes to get our attention.
Today I was sitting across the desk from my doctor. We always talk about the most amazing things. He is a fascinating person, and I happen to be someone who appreciates interesting people, so it was a good day for me.
He turned around to pull out his iPad and look up the name of a medication. When he put it on his desk, I saw that he had something attached to the case. “What’s that?” I asked, pointing.
He showed me that it was a speaker. “I love to listen to music and the speakers that come on this thing aren’t worth anything.” He set up his iPad and clicked a few buttons and asked me if I’d heard of Andrew Peterson. I had not. “Some folks say he’s the next Rich Mullins.”
I flipped through the Rolodex of memories in my brain, and I remembered reading about him in Karen Spears Zacharias’ book, “Will Jesus Buy Me a Double-Wide?: (‘Cause I Need More Room for My Plasma TV).” In her book about the prosperity gospel (it’s an awesome read, by the way), she shares the beautiful story of a man who didn’t want to be defined by fame or live as his income could allow. The sales and profits from his albums and tours went to his church, who then paid him the same as the average salary for that year. He lived simply.
After listening to the beautiful song by Andrew Peterson, Dr. D and I talked a few more minutes about Rich Mullins, his music, his life, and the upcoming movie about him, “Ragamuffin.”
He piqued my curiosity. Dr. D shared how the words that Rich Mullins shared when he was on stage were not sermon-like, but they were powerful and important to listen to. I didn’t know that Mr. Mullins had performed in Macon, Georgia, but Dr. D did. In 1994 following the flood that devastated so many that summer, Mr. Mullins came to Macon, found a fairly dry spot on Riverside Drive and held a benefit concert. Wow.
Tonight I came home and poked around Youtube to listen to some of Rich Mullins’ music. I wanted to know what Dr. D was talking about–to hear the words that Rich Mullins shared that touched so many.
And I found some.
In one article about him, I found a quote attributed to him. It can be found at about 7:40 on the video clip here. These words:
“Jesus said whatever you do to the least of these my brothers you’ve done it to me. And this is what I’ve come to think. That if I want to identify fully with Jesus Christ, who I claim to be my Savior and Lord, the best way that I can do that is to identify with the poor. This I know will go against the teachings of all the popular evangelical preachers. But they’re just wrong. They’re not bad, they’re just wrong. Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in a beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken….”
Oh, y’all. So humbling. So right. Just. Yes.
This hits me right where I live. I so want to live out what he is talking about here. He gave up all the things and the life that his music could have given him, satisfied to live simply. I have so far to go to get there.
Tonight I am thankful for the privilege of seeing a doctor with a heart and time to talk about the important things in life. I give thanks for those who made it possible for me to become his patient. I am also thankful for my friend Karen who first introduced me to Mr. Rich Mullins. And I appreciate that the words and music of this man have been preserved for me to listen and learn from. An amazing life and a great example of how all of us, no matter what our faith beliefs are, should live and love.
Here is an example of the powerful words of Rich Mullins, as Dr. D described. I love listening to his thoughts as he shares them aloud.
The trailer for the upcoming movie about him…..
And finally, to show the more playful side…..way before the “Cups” song came on the scene…..
“God is right, and the rest of us are just guessing.” –Rich Mullins