It's hard to believe that it's been nine years since Rich Mullins went home. I remember the first time I "met" Rich. It was at one of those day-long, outdoor Christian festivals somewhere in Kentucky. My oldest son and I had gone for the day to see some of the hot Christian bands play. Somewhere toward the end of the day a scraggly barefoot man wearing cutoffs took the stage and began to do his thing.
I wasn't sure quite what to make of this odd guy. He wasn't like anyone I had encountered before. He was funny, a bit offensive, and seemed to possess a wisdom that was well beyond his years. And his own brand of music touched something deep inside of me. This strange looking man was singing my heart.
I continued to listen to Rich's music for years after that but it was not until his death that I really started to pay attention. It was reported that this man who had written perhaps the most well known hymn of our time (Our God is an Awesome God) lived in a tiny trailer on an Indian reservation and gave most of the money he made away. No doubt Rich could have lived the high life and enjoyed his worldy success but instead he chose to live a higher life by giving of himself to others.
I remember thinking sadly how unusual that is even in the Christian community, and I knew there had to be more to his man than his music. I sat out to read up on him and listened more closely to his music and discovered that yes, there was something more. Rich was genuine. He was honest. Humble. Compassionate. Christ-like. He was the real deal. He wasn't perfect but he had a faith in his Creator that was rare and precious.
As a result of my getting to know Rich better, he changed my life. He changed the way I think about Christianity. He changed the way I think about giving. He changed my perspective on life here on earth and in heaven. So on this day I wanted to say "Thanks Rich". I can't wait to see ya one of these days.