Clearing out the webs

cobwebsAfter dropping my kids off at school, I decided to do a few things around the house before leaving for work. I knew if I left at 8 I would be sitting in traffic for an hour, but if I just waited 30 minutes at home it would only take me 30 minutes to get to work. Easy decision.

As I walked into the garage to go inside the house, I noticed all the spider webs that were in my garage…again. Over the past few months I’ve started noticing them, but never took the time to actually do something about them. Yeah, they kinda bothered me, but something else always took priority and months turned into…ahem…years. October is probably the only acceptable time to have so many, being Halloween and all, but I was determined to get them cleared out.

When I was done, I looked around and felt a kind of peace. Like somehow I had accomplished some great task. Not because there were really that many (and no, the picture is not my garage….but it makes me feel a bit better about mine;) ), but because I knew they were there and I wanted them gone. Every time I walked in, it was a reminder of something else that needed to be done. A little weight.

I’ve started doing the same thing in my life. The cobwebs being things I’ve said and/or done that went against what I believe. The not so good things. Times I’ve reacted out of my emotion, instead of out of maturity. Clearing those out has proven to be the same as the real things – peaceful. Free. Some were five years in the making, but they are slowly being cleared out. I do have a few that will probably stay awhile longer, but I’m praying about how to handle those. Each one adds a weight, albeit mental, that is noticeable once gone. It amazes me the energy it takes to keep those things around.

The Love of God

The Love of God
By: Rich Mullins

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy
I cannot find in my own
And He keeps His fire burning
To melt this heart of stone
Keeps me aching with a yearning
Keeps me glad to have been caught
In the reckless raging fury
That they call the love of God

Now I’ve seen no band of angels
But I’ve heard the soldiers’ songs
Love hangs over them like a banner
Love within them leads them on
To the battle on the journey
And it’s never gonna stop
Ever widening their mercies
And the fury of His love

Oh the love of God
And oh the love of God
The love of God

Joy and sorrow are this ocean
And in their every ebb and flow
Now the Lord a door has opened
That all Hell could never close
Here I’m tested and made worthy
Tossed about but lifted up
In the reckless raging fury
That they call the love of God

Bumping into Authenticity

mullins2There’s something raw and bold about meeting someone who is authentic. Someone that doesn’t pretend or present something to the outside world that is different on the inside. It’s rare, really.

I bumped into this type of authenticity as a new college graduate.  There was an amazing singer/songwriter that I admired. I loved his lyrics. A true poet. He happened to be singing at my church, so I went. There are so many things I do not remember about that night, but I do remember he was barefoot (which was apparently normal for him). I also remember him walking off the stage quietly while we were singing Awesome God…and never coming back. My thoughts after the concert were – He wasn’t in this thing for glory. He wasn’t in it to look good. He didn’t care what others thought. I wanted that.

Looking back, I wonder what the Christian labels thought of him. He did not fit the “Christian” mold. Wasn’t even remotely mainstream. He was not polished. He didn’t wear the clothes you would expect from a “star”.  He spoke freely. A real person struggling through life. Struggling with alcohol and addictions and depression. Normal.

During an interview, a radio host was asking him what type of music he liked to listen to. His response? “I like silence.” He is also quoted as saying, “The thing I like most about the Bible are all the weirdos in it. I think the Bible is just packed with them.”

And that was the person of Rich Mullins.

Someone that went against the norm. A bit edgy for some, but appealing to a young college girl looking for her way in the world. Someone that was just learning that the world could be cruel and hard and was doubting some things about her faith.

I remember the song about the wideness in God’s mercy.  It wasn’t one of his favorites (he says on stage), but the truth is piercing. This concert shows his authenticity, even forgetting (or thinking he was forgetting) the words – The Love of God.

My all-time favorite song, though, is The Color Green. To this day, I turn it up in the car and sing at the top of my lungs.  It’s healing.

Rich died at age 41 in a car accident. I remember hearing about it on the radio and crying. A sad day for many.

Today I remember Rich Mullins and am thankful God allowed me to bump into his authenticity so many years ago.

Today (10/21/14) would have been his 59th birthday.