“From the place where morning gathers
You can look sometimes forever ’til you see
What time may never know
What time may never know
How the Lord takes by its corners this old world
And shakes us forward and shakes us free
To run wild with the hope…”
Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Rich Mullins’ music…and feeling that old stirring that I used to know so well. I want to “run wild” with hope again.
This isn’t just some sentimental, teary-eyed idolization of a long-dead man who didn’t know me from a hole in the ground. Well, the last part is true–he DIDN’T know me from a hole in the ground. I met Rich once…and it’s the only time I can recall that I was tongue-tied and stupid in the face of “celebrity”. You don’t just walk up to a total stranger, introduce yourself, tell him he’s turned your world upside-down and do something stupid like propose to him (well, you might if you weren’t already married at the time…or if it was a few years later and the person was Donald Miller and none of your friends believed you’d do it, but that’s another story for another day). It was at the end of a show, I was at the end of the line…and Rich was exhausted and a bit crabby. Suffice it to say, it was not the stellar moment for which I’d hoped.
But the words…oh, my gosh. I can’t listen to a song like “Calling Out Your Name” without feeling that long-buried wildness stirring. Can’t listen to it without remembering the night in Wichita, gathered at the foot of the Keeper of the Plains with kindred spirits from the Lecacy Fest…honoring Rich’s memory with our songs and with our silence.
And I’m ready to run.
In some ways, I feel like I’m only now “getting it”–the story Rich told with his life and with his music isn’t new…wasn’t even new at the time of his telling. It’s ages old…ancient. He was all about community and being the hands and feet of Jesus before it was cool. HE certainly got it. He didn’t wear funky glasses or cool clothes like Rob Bell. He didn’t go on world tours like Brian McLaren. He just went about his business, living at poverty level, teaching music to Native American kids on the rez, eating “freegan” food from the plates of strangers in restaurants…and setting pen to paper to create lyrics that resonated deeply with so many people.
Those lyrics, those ideas…they still stir me. Lately, I’ve found myself pushing those stirrings down deeper…down to a place where I haven’t felt them so much. But how long can you push them down before they find their way back to the surface and explode out into the light? I’ve been quiet lately–I’ve been just skimming along the surface of life, trying to not really feel too much. But it’s not working. I think WAAAAY too much for it to work.
I listened to Calling Out Your Name the other day and I honestly thought I might explode right then. Sometimes God has to take by the corners our own personal little worlds and shake them hard…and sometimes that’s a really good thing. Sometimes we need a good shaking out of our complacency. I know sometimes Iwon’t move forward until I’m shoved there by circumstances beyond my control. I don’t like being out of control, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. And maybe that shaking will set me free. Maybe it’ll set free some of that stuff boiling up inside of me that’s dying to EXPLODE.
I want to run again…to run wild with that hope…
“…The hope that this thirst will not last long
That it will soon drown in the song
Not sung in vain
And I feel thunder in the sky
I see the sky about to rain
And I hear the prairies calling out Your name.”