Since June of 1995 the music of Rich Mullins has easily been among my favorite and his music can be frequently heard playing through my iPhone (together with various Hawaiian music). It was Rich who gave me a love of the hammer dulcimer.
There is something disarmingly simple in his music; at the same time, his lyrics contain a depth of profundity which strike straight to the heart. Rich had a way of expressing in his music the sentiments of my heart that I often had - and sometimes still do - a difficult time putting into words. Such is the power of music, isn't it?
Tragically, he died just a short time before he was to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church in 1997.
Patrick Breeman has a good post over at First Things in which he takes a look at the life of Rich Mullins. He includes in the post a number of quotes from Rich, which are all worth reading.
In these days without a Pope, we might especially consider this one:
More than ever before, I think that a great part of the Holy Spirit in our lives is played out through what the Catholic Church would call a Eucharistic community, and that’s the thing that is lacking in Protestantism. If Christ is head of the body, the body has to be together.A short time after his death a video was made describing the course of his life. The video, titled Homeless Man: The Restless Heart of Jesus, is available on YouTube:
If you haven't yet heard Rich's music, I highly encourage you to listen to some of his songs; you won't be disappointed. His music culminated in his album The Jesus Record, though he died before he was able to professional record it. Providentially, he did record it on a casette tape in an old church. When the album was recorded by others in the business, his version was included and is a great witness to the beauty of his faith and of his closeness to the Lord: