When I was a little girl, I had two hearts. One was a pink stone, shiny and swirled with white. The other one was a prism.
Tonight, I watched "Ragamuffin" for the first time. It's a film by David Leo Schultz, which had its premiere in Wichita. Wichita is where I am. Wichita is where I'm from.
Wichita is where Rich Mullins and his motley crew lived for about a decade, and they still live here. In us. The film is about him.
After the movie, some did not know what to think. Some said it was dark. And it was. Months before the movie, Kathy Sprinkle (an old best friend of Rich's) had made a point of telling me that it is more a story of brokenness and redemption set against the background of Rich's life than a biographical piece.
If you were to take the story of anyone's life, you could tell it in a multiplicity of ways. You could do this for any person, even for a single day. The story that is told here IS one of brokenness and redemption. Because of my long old years of friendship with Sprinkle, I knew the backstory, knew of Rich's darkness and brokenness, and that his story could be told this way, this redemptively.
When I was sixteen, I lived across the street from Rich. In an effort to scare up some fun one blank, eventless afternoon, Rich invited me to go watch a VHS. Rich said the show was a Broadway production, and had fantastic music. Five minutes into the show, he got a call and had to leave. Finish the show, he said. It's amazing.
I sat there for two hours and my sweet, innocent, sixteen-year-old face melted off while I watched "Sweeney Todd."
Today, my adult self will grant you that it is a riveting story with astounding music.
But my sixteen year old face did not understand at all. It is a story of gore, of evil. It is horrific.
I trekked to Sprinkle for my answer, an explanation. She told me something that seemed true at the time, but grows more true with every passing moment of my own frailty, my own weaknesses. She said that there are some people born that have unique aptitudes for the spiritual. These people are able to transport others to heights, they show God in cleansing, breathtaking, unimaginable ways... that they are able to scatter Light all around.
But that these same people, by virtue of their spiritual aptitudes, are capable of the same amount of dark as they are light.
And in the intervening years, I have learned so much about darkness and Light. A window is a fine thing. Clean, clear, straight shafts of light shine through glass. A bedroom I used to have had a sun room attached to it. Even in the numb-frozen winter, the light from the windows allowed me to feel soothed and warmed. A window's light is a fine thing.
But in order to scatter the light, that glass has to be cut.
Only when the glass is cut, only when it lies on the table shivering, wounded, can it be lifted up. It can be lifted up, and those straight lines of Light break. They rainbow and shimmer and dance and sing.
The cut glass scatters Light.
Christ IS the light, in Him is no darkness at all. In the dark, if we allow ourselves to be cut, He subsumes our darkness. He takes it on Himself and makes done with it. Our cut, wounded facets start to glow.
And so it was with Rich. And so it can be here, now, in us.
When I was a little girl, I had two hearts.
One was a prism.