This is day 10 of 31 Days of Songs and Stories. For an index of all the posts in the series, click here.
When my friend recommended the book and told me I should read it I wasn’t sure at first. Why would I want to read the biography of someone I’d never heard of? But she was determined that I had to read this book. She eventually gave me a copy for my birthday to make sure I read it, and I’m grateful that she did because it is one of the most inspiring biographies I have ever read.
The book is “No Compromise- The Life Story of Keith Green” written by his widow, Melody Green.
His story is fascinating: he enjoyed early success as a child singer which was abruptly halted as he was eclipsed by Donny Osmond. This gave way to a life of restlessness and drug taking, but always underpinned by a spiritual seeking, until he finally came to faith in Jesus at the age of 21.
If I had to sum up Keith Green’s story in one word, I would choose “passion.” Once he had discovered Jesus, his passion and the driving force of his life was to share that with others- driving miles just to have the chance to witness to a friend and opening his home to support several new believers or people in need, as well as witnessing through his music.
I love this song, “Your Love Broke Through” which describes the difference Jesus made in his life:
“Like a foolish dreamer, trying to build a highway to the sky
All my hopes were coming tumbling down, and I never knew just why,
Until today, when you pulled away the clouds that hung like curtains on my eyes
Well I’ve been blind all these wasted years and I thought I was so wise,
But then you took me by surprise.
Like waking up from the longest dream; how real it seemed
Until your love broke through.
I’ve been lost in a fantasy, that blinded me
Until your love broke through”
Keith Green was also passionate about living for Jesus, and uncompromising in his message to Christians that following Jesus should mean living for him in every area of life- that a half-hearted version of Christianity is not good enough.
His songs, and his life story as told in the book, are still incredibly challenging today.
I think this live version of his song “Asleep In The Light” really captures his passion and his message:
Do you see?
All the people sinking down?
Don’t you care?
Don’t you care?
Are you gonna let them drown?
Not to care if they come
You close your eyes,
And pretend the job is done…
The world is sleeping in the dark,
But the church just can’t fight,
’cause it’s asleep in the light!
How can you be so dead?!
When you’ve been so well fed
Jesus rose from the grave,
You can’t even get out of bed!”
Keith Green’s life was cut tragically short. In 1982, at the age of just 28, he was killed in a plane crash, along with his son Josiah and his daughter Bethany, leaving his wife Melody, his daughter Rebekah and another baby on the way.
However his legacy and his music continued to impact millions of lives, and still do so today.
linking with Literacy Musing Monday