I’ve just returned from the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, and I’ll have to admit that it exceeded expectations. I had a very enjoyable time, with enjoyable company, and the performances themselves were quite well presented. From the first listen to the atypical fusion sound of The Wailing Jennys to the soulful Odetta (not to mention the strumming of the incomparable Bruce Cockburn), I was captivated by the spiritually meaningful messages wrought out in music, spoken word, song and dance, often interspersed with unabashed proclamations of God the Creator and Jesus our Saviour.

As an aspiring artist of sorts, I was moved by how some of the acts were prefaced with sharp social commentary while others laced simple messages of love, hope and unbiased understanding of our fellow human beings, superceding the stereotypes some of us face on a daily basis. Some of those I attended with were deeply affected by dictates uplifting the appreciation of life in a fragile world and respect for self-worth in a world laced with the acrimony of societal preconceptions, finding a healing that otherwise may not have exposed itself in the ordinary nuances of a daily walk. That, in itself, caused me to re-evaluate and reaffirm my own desire to press on forward with what the Lord has placed on my heart, to pursue creative writing with a renewed zeal and to express myself on paper without conforming to the status-quo of the genres I choose to ride.

I am thankful that the Lord uses experiences such as this past weekend to shape and mold my desires and interests, with friends to have fellowship and discuss, with the hope that perhaps, one day, my own words will reach out to others as others’ words have to me this lovely July weekend.