Recently, I was watching the show Ragamuffins. It is a story about Rich Mullins. I never realized his life was full of pain, anger, depression and reckless. I always thought of Rich Mullins as a person who was a singer and artist. His songs are awesome and I have loved his songs for many years. Rich Mullins was what many would call a rebel in the Christian world. He wrote Doubly Good to You for Amy Grant and that helped him become a name as a Christian Artist.
Here are some of the songs that Rich Mullins is best known for;
Rich wrestled all of his life with the brokenness and inner demons from his childhood. His father was very hard on him and he carried that with him throughout his life. One of the things in this movie that stood out to me is that he didn’t like the fame and all the stuff that comes along with it. He would came on stage barefoot, shaggy hair and jeans full of holes and tattered. At the time of Rich Mullins death he gave away most of the money he ever made. He told his accountant to give him only 24,000 a year since that was what an average person would be making in a year.
Rich Mullins band was called the Ragamuffin’s. He wasn’t out to impress anyone, other than God. He was brutally honest and gave up fame and fortune to live on a Native American Reservation teaching kids music and the hope of the gospel of Jesus.
There was a part in the movie where Rich Mullins and a friend of his was driving down the road in his jeep. They popped in a cassette tape of this pastor that was taking about how Jesus loves the sinner. And that each of us has a war within ourselves that we are waging. God knows us inside and out.
He knows our darkest moments and our hurts. He knows our pains and He loves us anyhow. I think in the world we live in, we let Satan convince us that we are good enough to be loved. But God sent us His son and shows us we all are loved. Even through all the mess and ugliness of our lives.
By the end of the movie, I came to the conclusion that we don’t know what others are really going through. We may think they have it all together, but that is a lie. We see masks that people put on for different people in our lives.
Before Rich Mullins passed away he is quoted as saying; “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-hearted…”
Rich Mullins died in a car accident when he lost control of the Jeep he was driving. RIP “Rich” Mullins (October 21, 1955 – September 19, 1997) Click here to listen to a tribute from Amy Grant at the Dove Awards.
When I was reading up on Rich Mullins, I loved what someone had to say about him. He was a prophet and a poet and a beggar, more comfortable with the homeless than the wealthy, more in love with Jesus than religion, more interested in the music than the song. He felt too much, and held too much. He searched desperately his whole life for a way to belong down here, but he never did. He was just passing through.
Rich Mullins & A Ragamuffin Band – Live From Studio B, South Bend, Indiana, 1997