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Posted March 16, 2013
Posted July 19, 2012
We belong to love; love does not belong to us.—Pamela Rich
We belong to love; love does not belong to us.—Pamela RichardsWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
A love story, a memoir, a biography of a popular Christian composer and performer, a testimonial to Christ’s redeeming love—which is it? Singing from Silence combines all these genres into one intriguing and inspirational tale. It leaves the reader convinced of God’s great love for humanity and how it is played out in the lives of those who may not realize at the time how their words and actions will go on to demonstrate God’s redemptive love to others.
Art student Pamela Richards meets Richard Mullins at Cincinnati Bible College in 1974. From day one these two unconventional individuals become fast friends. Self-proclaimed “pagan” Pamela never wanted to attend Bible school in the first place but was given few options by her family. Rich is a Quaker mystic, a musical prodigy, and a budding Christian composer, destined for a career in youth ministry. While others assume the two are a dating couple, their relationship remains platonic. Pamela can never quite see herself as becoming a full partner to Rich’s musical ministry, and the idea of sharing him with crowds of admirers doesn’t appeal to her. She resists any notions they will ever marry yet steadfastly continues to be supportive and encouraging of her friend’s task to share the love of God through word and music.
Theirs is a love stronger than a mere romantic relationship can provide, Pamela concludes. It is a muse that generates soaring heights of artistic creation while in turn nurturing a deep closeness able to survive harsh words, long years with little contact, and the hell of Pamela’s divorce from an abusive spouse. Although Pamela and Rich are never able to become a couple in the worldly sense, she becomes increasingly aware of how their mutual love and friendship gives evidence to how God used the musical genius of Rich Mullins to bring others into a closer relationship with Him.
Singing from Silence testifies to the fact how poignant yet exhilarating it is to know that death itself has no hold over us as long as we are joined together in the creative power that is God’s love. -- Cindy Matthews for the FEARLESS REVIEWS
Posted June 17, 2012
Richard Wayne Mullins, perhaps known best for a song he allegedly liked least, Awesome God, was one of the best singers/songwriters/composers to grace the Contemporary Christian Movement of modern music. A complex man that many did not know well or understand, he struggled with loneliness and the human desire to be loved for who he was, not what he was. He was and still is among the best of all time success stories in Christian music and is regarded by some as a saint and others as a prophet. However, neither description fits. Pamela Richard’s memoir account of Rich’s life, Singing from Silence, is an excellent work befitting the type of description this reviewer believes Rich Mullins would want as his legacy. Ms. Richards close friendship and inspirational talents helped Rich open the door to his heart and his true dreams like he would to no other. Meeting at a Bible College in Cincinnati, Pamela and Rich spent many hours, days and years together weaving a tapestry of artwork and music into an inspirational collection of emotions, songs and personal gifts to one another. Singing From Silence provides an unusually provocative behind the scenes look into what inspired many of the songs Rich Mullins composed. It might just as aptly been named the stories behind his songs. The raw emotional honesty used in the book attests to the difficulties that both Richard and Pamela had in verbally articulating their beliefs, loves, sorrows and triumphs. This hallmark trait gives her book believability and the ability for others from various backgrounds to relate to the intricate threads that become our lives as humans. Both Pamela and Richard had a unique way of exploring the three major love languages of life. While both of them experienced it differently from each other and differently from what most people might expect, each moved easily through the channels of agape, eros and familial love to be the strength the other one needed at any given time. This is what made the relationship between these two so unique. Hammer dulcimists everywhere will thank Ms. Richards for introducing Richard to the santur. As a naturally gifted musician, an instrument that relied heavily on arpeggios was a natural for him. National Hammer Dulcimer Champion Ted Yoder was heavily inspired by Richard’s playing as is this reviewer. Without realizing it, Richard gave many more individuals a gift simply by being an ambassador of this instrument. Through all of this, Pamela and Richard learned how to love and accept each other in their quest to love and serve God. One of Richard’s strongest wishes was not to be remembered as an entertainer, but rather as an imperfect human being just like all of us who simply used a musical talent in search of his answers of/from a loving God. Richard found a “Love that Knows No Bounds.” He did it with the courageous and persistent efforts of a loving and caring friend and confidante, Pamela Richards. The book is an easy read with engaging anecdotes and will likely be a joy to anyone who reads it. It is especially interesting to those who love the legacy left behind by an Indiana ragamuffin who coincidentally achieved fame as an entertainer and composer.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.