The Perfume of His Presence


This morning we are driving to the Hollansburg Cemetery in Ohio.

A precious grain of wheat for Christ is planted here.

John 12:24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.

Chet and I are going to pay our respects to someone we have never met, though this person significantly shaped my early walk with Christ. Through his music and observing his life, Richard Wayne Mullins demonstrated it was possible to be a Christian and still be “real.”

Here is his bio, as posted on a grave location site:

Singer, Songwriter, Musician. Born near Richmond, Indiana, Rich was into genealogy research of his family’s history and revered and honored the memory of those who came before him and made him who he was. He began writing music at an early age. Talent with musical instruments came naturally to him. One song he wrote was made famous by Amy Grant in 1982, “Sing Your Praise to the Lord.” He recorded an album called “Canticle of the Plains” in honor of St. Francis of Assisi but based it in the American West. His song “Awesome God” has been the most well-known and loved by more people. He spent the last couple of years of his life teaching music to Navajo children on the Navajo Nation Reservation in Windrock, NM. He was devoted to the Navajo Nation and considered his teaching more important than making money. He also believed serving God, with his music and ministry, were above fame and fortune. He gave most of his earnings to charity. A quote of his from a question about how to stay strong in the faith – “Read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow, grow.” When he would sign autographs, he would always write “Be God’s” above his signature. Nine days before his death, he went to an old, abandoned church with a cheap cassette recorder and recorded nine songs with just his guitar. These songs became “The Jesus Record,” and they reveal the inner peace he was finally feeling. Mullins was killed in an auto accident.

This bio, though carefully written, seems dry compared to the impact I have witnessed of this artist’s music on the world.

I have seen an entire community of believers touched and encouraged by the “shoeless man,” as Amy Grant called him.

As I come to know and love believers who have been affected by his music, I see an ever-widening ripple of faith. That legacy has continued even now, twenty-two years after his death.

During our drive yesterday, reflecting on Rich’s legacy, Chet and I were discussing how the impact of one person can affect so many lives.

There was another person whose action still has an impact, thousands of years later.

John 12:1-3

Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.3 Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. 

And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

I don’t think Mary had a clue how poignant her actions were, nor that they would resonate thousands of years later. She just acted out of love.

Lord, let my actions fill the area of responsibility you have given me with your perfume.

One Comment on “The Perfume of His Presence

  1. BEAUTIFUL post, Kathy!
    I love Rich Mullins’s music too.
    Good luck and God’s blessings

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