Sunday, June 11, 2017

My Eyes Are Dry -- Keith Green

He must have been voicing the words of someone he knew who was much older, right? That might be what someone would ask, if they read the words of “My Eyes Are Dry” and knew Keith Green in 1978 in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California (see its seal here). After all, he was just 25, and some of the song’s words include ‘old’. What did he mean by that? Knowing Keith’s personality, you could instead surmise that he was talking about himself. Old doesn’t have to be physical. And how does one become rejuvenated, if the wrinkles on your skin or the tedium of life make you feel worn out? Just looking at Keith’s life – a radical take on the Gospel – would be a solution, albeit incorporating it into one’s life would require the Keith Green energy and personality, a rare commodity.

‘Life is short…make it count.’ That sums up what Keith and his wife Melody Green used for the Last Days Ministries (LDM) they formed just about the time that “My Eyes Are Dry” was gestating in Keith’s imagination. Both he and Melody had come out of the late 60’s-early 70’s generation searching for a genuine spiritual foundation. Their newfound belief in Christianity was so energized, that they readily reached out to house the needy in their neighborhood -- drug addicts, the homeless, prostitutes, unwed mothers, and others tossed aside by the culture. Faith was supposed to be real, and the Greens put it into action. Keith’s concerts reflected the same authenticity that he urged audiences to sing in words as if they were theirs. He must have been contemplating times when he’d felt stale and insensitive, even while knowing God was present. Keith’s method was not to cover up his valleys, but to expose them, confess them, and share with others how Jesus had refreshed his spirit. ‘If you’re in a low place right now, that’s where I once was’, Keith would tell them in so many words during an interlude in “My Eyes Are Dry”. Last Days Ministries– formally established in 1977 --  was fresh proof  that Keith and Melody were advocating this message not just to music fans, but to dozens of people they were lodging in their own home and other dwellings they’d acquired. If you feel dry (empty), old, hard, and cold, God is your oil and wine, according to Keith’s lyrics. He can make your life count again.

In keeping with their ministry’s motto, Keith Green’s life was indeed impactful, although tragically short. LDM is still operating, under Melody’s leadership, following the death of Keith and 11 others who were attempting to take an airborne tour of the LDM campus in 1982. This 28-year episode – Keith Green’s lifespan – is noteworthy, and still speaks of his zeal for Christ through words like those in ‘My Eyes…’. If I went to my eternal home today, have I left evidence of an inner conviction like Keith’s? Maybe I should make certain there’s some external portion to that internal piece, huh?          

See the following websites for information on the composer and the ministry he and his wife established:

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