I have wanted to do some writing for some time now on a man who’s songs have touched the lives of myself and many others. In the world of modern Christian music, there are few who can compare to the writings of Richard Wayne Mullins. Ironically, it wasn’t until his death in 1997 that I really started to take notice of his gift for writing lyrics to stir the soul and paint glorious pictures of nature and the world around us. I’m not sure where these writings will take us, if they will make sense to anyone other than me, or if anyone will really care… However, I feel like there are lessons to be learned in the songs and life of Rich.
I would be remiss if I did not encourage you to do a few things to get to know the music and life of Rich if you are not familiar with who he was. First, I highly suggest listening to his music. There really is no way to choose which songs are best. There are a few “best of” albums titled “Songs” and “Songs II”. But, I would also suggest his last work , “The Jesus Record”, which is a 2 CD set. The first has Rich singing his songs, recorded on a very crude tape player. It is raw, untouched, and beautiful. The second CD is these songs Rich was working on recorded by his friends and fellow artists. The next thing I would encourage would be to read a copy of the book, Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven by James Bryan Smith. Rich spent some time living with Smith and his family and has an insight into who Rich was that many others do not. The book is described by Smith as a devotional biography. It goes through some of his songs, giving insight into Rich as a man and artist, as well as providing applicable life lessons that can be gleaned through these songs. Lastly, but certainly not least, I would recommend the movie, Ragamuffin. It is currently available on Netflix, but I’d suggest purchasing a copy. It’s THAT good!
The last thing I want is to make these blog posts so lengthy that people won’t want to read them, so I will try to keep them fairly brief. The way I envision it going is, I would copy the lyrics and possibly a YouTube link to the song, then give my own insight and opinions on what the song means to me…. Additionally, I have contacted some of Rich’s friends and fellow artists and have some of their favorite songs and lyrics to share.
So, as I said, I’m not sure where this will take us, but I hope it is something that you enjoy. I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to write these posts, but I’ll try to make it a fairly regular thing. Thanks for reading. I hope we both learn more about Rich’s message through his music. As we will see, that message is about the love of God.
Until next time….. mark