God uses music so powerfully and when I let Him in through beautiful songs, He really speaks to my heart. I know my blog isn’t normally about the “serious” stuff but every so often, I need that outlet. One of the most touching musicians I’ve ever encountered in my life is Rich Mullins. I’ve written about his music before (this post was inspired by his song, “My One Thing”) and it always crops up again and again to draw me back on track. When I listen to Rich — and especially when I watched this simple video of him singing at Wheaton College (which I discovered randomly on YouTube) — I’m stripped of all the superficiality of life. Everything that doesn’t matter disappears as I remember that our lives our short and the only thing that truly matters is Jesus. 

Here is the chorus to “If I Stand”:

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

When I was a kid, Rich came to my church for a concert. I always remember him walking down our hallway at Southside Christian Church barefoot before the concert. I remember passing and perhaps even saying hello. I was in awe of anyone performing a concert and studied him closely. He truly radiated God’s presence and his music — the lyrics, the simple and unique melodies boosted by the humble way he lived his life — has made a great impact on me. 

In searching out information on him, I found an old website built after his death in 1997. A guestbook page where readers were encouraged to write down tributes to him is STILL going and being filled to this day. I was eating up whatever videos I could find recently and watched this 1992 interview as well as this performance with his Ragamuffin band. 

The thing I always remembered about Rich was this: The profits from his tours and the sale of each album went to his church, which divided it up, paid Mullins the average salary in the U.S. for that year, and gave the rest to charity. Such is a situation is truly unheard and because of this, there could be no question about his character in this regard. I don’t think everyone needs to do that but that he did is inspiring — and beautiful to me. 

I’ll leave you with one of his most notable quotes: 

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…”

Thinking of these things tugs at my heart to leave the political world and become solely focused on people not as political beings but as the humanity that they are. I get tired of thinking of everything packaged inside legislation or sliding up and down some graph or chart. I’m sick of statistics and slick words and the corruption that resides in Washington. No matter how you slice it, it’s there to some degree. There are noble people here trying to improve the world the best they know how. But I can love people best in a different way and I look forward to the day when I don’t have to think about people and life and love and God from these perspectives at all.

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