songs still speaking beyond the years, beyond the scars
Eighteen years ago, life changed in more ways than I would have predicted. On July 30, I received a diagnosis for multiple sclerosis. On August 14, my heart was lightened as I attended an absolutely wonderful concert. Rich Mullins had been my very favorite musical artist for a while already – this was likely my fifteenth of his concerts. In fact, I wrote a review for an email list, as I was very touched by Rich’s words and music. But after August came September, and I received a phone call the evening of September 19 that caused my heart to drop.
My younger brother called to share news he had just heard on the radio: Rich Mullins had been in a car accident… and he had died almost immediately. His song “Elijah,” and my high school photo essay, flashed through my mind. As I leaned against a large oak tree in our back yard, a few silent tears trickled down as I stared into the clear, starry sky.
But this was eighteen years ago. Last year, a new piece of Rich’s legacy was shared in the form of an independent film, Ragamuffin. Like any story, Rich’s true tale was multifaceted, and the movie does share some of Rich’s scars that were not outwardly evident on this multi-talented musician, poet, speaker, writer. The lyrics of “Hold me, Jesus” ring even truer as we get a glimpse of Rich’s inner struggles.
and I wake up in the night and feel the dark
it’s so hot inside my soul
I swear there must be blisters on my heart
so hold me Jesus, ’cause I’m shaking like a leaf
You have been King of my glory
won’t You be my Prince of Peace
Each of us does have “invisible issues” of some kind, and I’m thankful to Rich for being willing share some of his struggles, to admit of the “blisters on his heart.” And to remind us where true peace comes from.