published: 04/6/05Eight years after an accident left Christian singer Mitch McVicker in critical condition, he has come to accept it as part of a bigger plan.
His spiritual life is back on track, while physically he has few aftereffects.
Four or five times a year, his sense of balance "goes crazy" for a couple of seconds, McVicker says. Sometimes when he tilts his head at certain angles, he briefly sees double.
That's about it.
But the long-term effect of the 1997 accident, which also claimed the life of Rich Mullins, the composer of "Awesome God," involves his spiritual journey.
"I wasn't left with anything other than trust and dependence on God," McVicker said last week in a telephone call from his home in Atlanta.
In the accident's aftermath, McVicker had to relearn the basics.
His singing voice was 20 percent of where it had been and where it is today, he said.
But through faith and therapy, McVicker came back. He has released three CDs since the accident and is now on what he calls "the never-ending tour," which will take more than 50 days this spring.
"It wears you out like nothing else and energizes you at the same time," McVicker says.
On Friday, the tour will bring McVicker to Sioux Falls. Here are excerpts of the conversation with him.
Question: You had a fund-raising concert in Worthington, Minn., in February to raise money for a translator radio station. How did that go?
Answer: They got to raise some good money, and I was glad to be part of that, just glad to do what I can to help those that are building the kingdom of God.
Q: Talk about your spiritual journey.
A: I grew up going to church, so the Bible was always there. I'm not sure when it was that I was saved and became a Christian. I'm just glad it did. My testimony is what I've done today, how Jesus worked in my life today and how I have responded to that.
Q: Are you comfortable talking about the accident?
A: It's fine to talk about it. It was a hard thing to have everything I knew taken from me, as far as my direction in life, my vocation, where I thought things were heading, and then be focused on just the basic things, walking and talking and eating without slobbering down your shirt. It was a rough time of questioning as to what was going on. I'm just very thankful that the faithfulness of Jesus persists.
Q: What impact did Rich Mullins have on your life?
A: He's affected my outlook on how to go about doing any kind of traveling music ministry, and the honesty, the passion he pursued the Lord with is something that rubbed off on me. Musically, he was the best singer-songwriter, I think, that Christendom has ever known. As a songwriter, I'm just trying to hint at and get close to where he was. I know I'm far from there, but it's something to shoot for.
Q: What music do you listen to, and do you own an iPod?
A: I don't own an iPod. I couldn't figure that out if I did own it. I just use the now old-fashioned CDs.
I don't listen to a ton of music. I generally prefer silence because there's music going on in my head and my life all the time. I would rather pay attention to what God is doing inside of me and outside of me. But if I listen to music, it's Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Counting Crows, Push Stars, Rich Mullins, Watermark. And stuff like Aaron Copland.
Q: What are your goals for the next five years?
A: I think we're called to make plans and submit them to the Lord with the understanding that as we walk down the path ... that God will nudge us in the path that he would have us go. My goals are to continue to do this for as long as the Lord would see fit and to continue to try to improve as a communicator of the truth. ... I know the last thing the world needs is another Christian musician, but I know the world needs truth, and the world needs Jesus.
Q: On your tours, do you have time to talk to the people who come to your concerts?
A: It is so easy when you're doing this to blow in and out of town and take it for granted, and it becomes routine. But then you're missing out on the blessing of rubbing shoulders with the body of Christ in so many great people. You have to make yourself available to hang out with folks beforehand and afterwards.
Q: What do you do in your free time?
A: I read, and I watch maybe one or two basketball games a week. I don't watch much TV, but from time to time I go to movies. I love to think and journal and work on songs, and so I'll end up down the road at Woodstock Coffee Shop, which is one of my favorite places in the world doing that.