I remember July 29, 1982 like it was yesterday. Thirty-five years ago, I stopped at a donut shop to visit a friend and picked up the Detroit Free Press. I read of an airplane crash. 11 people dead. And one of them, an iconoclast Christian musician named Keith Green.
Quickly, I grabbed the newspaper and went to the house of a friend. It was probably about 9:30 at night. And he was in bed.
“Keith Green is dead. You have to see this.” He was awake immediately. We began reflecting on the profound impact this now deceased twenty-eight year old Christian musician had on us.
Keith Green was what we label as an acronym: WYSIWYG. “What You See Is What You Get.” He was intense to a fault. A friend of mine, a recording engineer, met Keith once. He said he was so intense he was scary.
Keith was a seeker. And eventually he latched on to Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus became his guru. And then his master. He never looked back.
Keith was not easy to deal with. He was impulsive, impetuous and his intensity–so says his longtime friend, Randy Stonehill– could often give you an Excedrin headache. He was immature at times but dead earnest with what he knew was truth.
I was first exposed to Keith’s music as a young Christian disciple. His in-your-face lyrics both challenged me and made me wither. The same could be said for multiplied thousands of people who came under his influence.
Keith, thank you. You have no idea the effect you have had on me for thirty-seven years. Add to that multiplied millions of others. May your tribe explode in growth.
No Compromise: The Life Story of Keith Green (Melody Green & David Hazard)