Awesome

It has been seventeen years since a ragamuffin man went about the world in bare-feet and cutoff shorts sharing his vision of who God was and could be in our lives.

Acts 17:28, “For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’

My first introduction to Rich Mullins was the song Awesome God. But it wouldn’t be the one song I loved best of his during his career.  In the spring of 1991 I went to a college gym with some friends to see Rich Mullins and Beaker, his bandmate and friend play an acoustic concert.  I had been a believer for about ten months at that time.  I knew God was good, that He loved me, that Jesus had died for me, but I didn’t understand the intimacy Rich had with God.   That ragamuffin taught me so much about the Jesus I was learning to follow.

I learned more that night than I probably learned in all of my theology classes combined. As we sang Awesome God together we weren’t just singing it with a well-known singer, we were sharing communion.  We were celebrating a God who loved us, who was bigger than all we would face in life.

I heard the gentle heart of a man who hungered for God, who sought His presence in the way a starving man might seek food.  It was incredible to see and to hear about this relationship Rich had with God.

Rich and Beaker shared about the new album they were working on, The World as Best as I Remember It Vol. 1  That night we were among the first to hear a song that would become an anthem on Sunday mornings around the world– Step by Step.  I remember the simplicity and depth of the lyrics as they wrapped around the college gym that night.

Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You

I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step, You’ll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/rich-mullins/step-by-step-lyrics/#IF9PVMDyWUCSPPFQ.99

When Rich Mullins died that September night in 1997, my mom called me with the news.  It wrecked me.  I felt like I had lost a dear friend and family member that day.  It wrecks me today.  Christian music lost a voice that has never been completely replaced.  All these years later, his music still leaves a mark on me.  In the end, I think the theology of Rich Mullins’ faith journey can best be described in the song If I Stand.

There’s more that rises in the morning
Than the sun
And more that shines in the night
Than just the moon
It’s more than just this fire here
That keeps me warm
In a shelter that is larger
Than this room

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

So if I stand let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
And if I can’t, let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You
And if I sing let me sing for the joy
That has born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home

There’s more that dances on the prairies
Than the wind
More that pulses in the ocean
Than the tide
There’s a love that is fiercer
Than the love between friends
More gentle than a mother’s
When her baby’s at her side

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

So if I stand let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
And if I can’t let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You
And if I sing let me sing for the joy
That has born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home

And if I stand let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
And if I can’t let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You
And if I sing let me sing for the joy
That has born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home

And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home

Read more at http://www.lyrics.com/if-i-stand-lyrics-rich-mullins.html#LYt3omObX8huFR5p.99

Rich Mullins was just a humble man on a journey, seeking God every step of the way. May we seek this simplicity in our walks as well.

****

If you want a great book about Rich Mullins look for An Arrow Pointing to Heaven by James Bryan Smith.

 

 

 

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About gretchenr17

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Writer, farmer, fellow sojourner... at every turn I learn a bit more about God's wild mercies.
This entry was posted in reflections, Walking by Faith and not by sight and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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