“The Maker of Noses” by Rich Mullins – The way to the place of peace.

The Maker of Noses

Rich Mullins and Beaker

I believe there is a place

Where people live in perfect peace
Where there is food on every plate
Where work is rewarded and rest is sweet
Where the color of your skin
Won’t get you in or keep you out
Where justice reigns and truth finally wins
Its hard fought war against fear and doubt

And everyone I know wants to go there too
But when I ask them how to do it they seem so confused
Do I turn to the left?
Do I turn to the right?
When I turn to the world they gave me this advice

They said boy you just follow your heart
But my heart just led me into my chest
They said follow your nose
But the direction changed every time I went and turned my head
And they said boy you just follow your dreams
But my dreams were only misty notions
But the Father of hearts and the Maker of noses
And the Giver of dreams He’s the one I have chosen
And I will follow Him

I believe there’ll come a time
Lord, I pray it’s not too far off
There’ll be no poverty or crime
There’ll be no greed and we will learn how to love
And children will be safe in their homes
And there’ll be no violence out on the streets
The old will not be left alone
And the strong will learn how to care for the weak

And everyone I know hopes it comes real soon
But when I ask ’em where I’d find it they seem so confused
Do I find it in the day?
Do I find it in the night?
When I finally ask the world they give me this advice

Well they said boy you just follow your heart
But my heart just led me into my chest
They said follow your nose
But the direction changed every time I went and turned my head
And they said boy you just follow your dreams
But my dreams were only misty notions
But the Father of hearts and the Maker of noses
And the Giver of dreams He’s the one I have chosen

And oh, I hear the voice of a million dreams
Then I wake in the world that I’m partly made of
And the world that is partly my homemaking
And oh, I hear the song of a heart set free
That will not be kept down
By the fury and sound
Of a world that is wasting away but keeps saying (keeps on saying)

Saying boy you just follow your heart
But my heart just led me into my chest
They said follow your nose
The direction changed every time I go and turn my head
They said boy you just follow your dreams
But my dreams were only misty notions
But the Father of hearts and the Maker of noses
And the Giver of dreams He’s the one I have chosen
And I will follow Him
(Just follow your dreams)
(You just follow your dreams)

Copyright 1992 – Edward Grant, Inc., Kid Brothers of St. Frank Publishing

A wonderful song by the late Rich Mullins and his writing companion Beaker. I believe the song is basically about the search for “the place” where peace is, in all of its facets. He envisions “a place” with food on every plate, racial inclusiveness, justice reigning, truth winning, no fear & doubt, children safe, no crime or violence, the old not unattended & lonely and the weak cared for.

In a day when we all seem content to seek a private peace, the song is a breath of freshness because it envisions a greater peace. The seeker came to know that his own private peace could never fully arrive independently of the greater peace.

The seeker narrates how he had followed the advice of the many, to follow his own heart, nose, and dreams. But when he followed them he found only the limitations of his self, his direction, and his inability to realize his dreams. Today, only two decades from when this song was written, the idea of creating one’s own reality is increasing. But if it could be achieved, would our private narcissistic “reality” really be “peace” in the midst of “the fury and sound of a world that is wasting away?”

The seeker, as a modern Qoheleth, has found that the only salvation from vapor is to “remember thy Creator.” Thus he has chosen to follow  “the Father of hearts and the Maker of noses and the Giver of dreams.”

Following this choice he “hears the voice of a million dreams” and “wakes” in a new world that he is “partly made of” and “partly his homemaking.” This signifies that the choice to forsake the private dream, by God’s transformation, results in the magnificent new creation in which all share. This signifies that the dreams of self are futile because they are not even the real and deepest dream of man. The ultimate reality of God’s new creation is the answer to every real dream and longing. But we have not and cannot even conceive of that dream even though it is in a sense our hidden dream, until we are willing to give up our selfish “private” dream. This is the “leap of faith” that must be taken.

He has also heard “the song of a heart set free,” a heart that has overcome the “old world” chorus that leads only to more futility. This does not signify the discovery of his own private song, it is the song of another that he hears. It signifies “a new song” – a song that has never before been heard. This song cannot be “kept down” by the world chorus of  “the fury and sound of a world that is wasting away but keeps saying (keeps on saying)…boy you just follow your heart…”

What is the new song and who is the singer? There was one that taught his disciples a new prayer/song:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (New King James Version)

Essentially, the song is the “good news of the kingdom” that is coming and will come. It is currently like the “tiny mustard seed that will become a tree for the nations” or “leaven hidden in the flour that eventually leavens all” as it rises. (Matt. 13:31-32) This is a “song” we could never have conceived of, and are powerless to birth into the world, by following our own hearts, noses, and dreams…

6 Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. 7 But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”— (2 Corinthians 2:6-9 English Standard Version)

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:37-38 ESV)

May you know the way to the place of peace.

I dedicate this meditation to the late Rich Mullins.

Original Content © Bryan M. Christman and Manifest Propensity, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bryan M. Christman and Manifest Propensity with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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