Last night my wife and I drove a little over an hour to view Ragamuffin. The true story of Rich Mullins.
I have long anticipated this completion of this film. I have also been very concerned about it.
I’m not sure that anyone would ever explain themselves as having been a fan of Rich Mullins. I mean, it’s not a past tense kind of love you developed for the guy or his music. My own love and warmth for him and his music continue to this day. After all, college days at the ole Johnson Bible College were difficult. I didn’t fit in, I’m not sure that any of us really did. There was something about Rich’s music that grabbed most of us during those days. I believe it was the fact that we all recognized that he was a misfit, we could relate to him. I believe that same magnetism may be reawakened with the release of the film.
The movie is a quality production. The way the story is narrated is through a radio interview. The DJ is a cameo of Rich’s younger brother David. Each scene is an honest and achieved attempt to give us a glimpse at a fellow that clearly felt the intensity of loneliness, low self esteem, dreams that were crushed and even depression.
Rich isn’t painted as a saint. If you don’t want to hear the word “damn” you may want to skip the film. If a Christian movie that depicts one of our own as a guy who struggled with alcohol, smoking or even lost that struggle at times, skip the film.
On the other hand, if you want to see that Rich Mullins was a guy with real struggles. Real loneliness and disappointment that recognized God’s grace and love was more intense than any of us can really come to fathom. This film is for you.
Rich Mullins As a Hero
Get ready for the adrenalin rush and emotion to come out of the film and purchase all of Rich’s stuff and begin to read his biographies and surf Youtube for live clips of him.
Don’t Make This Mistake
It will be tempting to view Rich Mullins as some type of hero. Fight that with this understanding.
Rich was an extremely inspiring individual. Many of us were drawn to him and it would be a mistake to “heroize” him.
Heroizing will quickly lead to idolizing his weak and broken existence.
Rather, recognize that the thing that draws most of us into his life, story and music is our desire to do what he did. Live humbly and transparently in front of God and Christ’s body.
Why should we make him a hero, when all he ever desired to do was be in the hands of a Father that loved him, with a Brother that would never leave him and with a family that would accept him.
I will draw this “review” to a close. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.
I hope that there is something compelling that encourages you to attend a screening or plan one.