For a guy who refuses to wear shoes and doesn't look like he showers on a regular basis, he's often met with curious stares during Sunday morning services. Not surprisingly, his life only gets more complicated when Nashville comes calling. Never fully comfortable as a go-to songwriter for Amy Grant or a celebrated CCM artist later on when "Awesome God" winds up being his breakout hit, Rich's life fails to follow a predictable course. But he finds a mentor in the late Brennan Manning and discovers his true passion in ministering to Native American youth. Mullins's life may have remained far from perfect, but his story has incredible resonance and redemptive value.

Drawing from interviews and the actual dialogue he delivered from stage during his concerts, there's so much about Ragamuffin that radically sets it apart from many faith-based films. Sure, it's a bit short on budget and well-known actors, but there's an undeniable authenticity in the storytelling. We see a man truly wrestling with what he believes and how that plays out in everyday life. He's not struggling one instant, suddenly-saved the next.

Rich was a continual work in progress, a ragamuffin like you and me, and he believed scars weren't necessarily a deal-breaker. Well, unless someone never bothered living—words that mean even more in light of Rich's early death in 1997 when he was only 41.

CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers):

  • Drugs/Alcohol: Cigarette smoking. Rich struggled with alcohol abuse, and we see him drunk in a handful of scenes. Brennan jokes about having a weakness for beer and hot fudge sundaes.
  • Language/Profanity: A dozen or so uses of da--. Three uses of he--. Pis-.
  • Sex/Nudity: No sex or nudity. We see Rich and Jess embrace and kiss in a few scenes.
  • Violence: Rich's dad was often cruel, and we see him being verbally abused. In some scenes, physical abuse is hinted at. A car accident is shown (we see the car flip over on the highway). Rich tends to break things (the glass on a phone booth, a lamp) when he's angry.

Publication date: May 2, 2014