On Saturday night 10th July I made a snap decision to go and see Derek Lind (and band) at Kumeu live. I haven't made a habit of seeing Derek live in concert but let's just say I've 'touched base' with his music on and off for close to four decades. Before Parachute festival was a thing, many years ago, I went to the 'Parachute arts camp' and did a guitar playing workshop with Derek there. I have to say it was influential and the learning stayed with me and was incorporated into my own modest playing style. Disturbingly, I think he told the same joke on Saturday night as he did all those years ago.
On Saturday I bumped into members of that ubiquitous generation of 'former Forrest Hill people' who all seem to be about my age. We all seem to like the same music and stuff...I digress. The great thing about Saturday night was it reminded me how good a guitar player Derek is. It reminded me he has a knack of surrounding himself with excellent co-collaborators. More importantly, it reminded me of the prophetic edge in his music, obvious when after the break the band came on in electric mode and we got a gritty, almost venomous rendition of Wasteland, a critique of a shallow, consumerist Kiwi culture.
Derek is a man acquainted with grief in his life, and is particularly adept at expressing loss and the pain of being human through music, yet with a touch of hope and faith. He also has the knack of inserting melodic hooks when you think it's all going to be gritty blues.
I guess what I'm saying is maybe we should treasure more the authentic voices that have emerged from Aotearoa Christian culture. We get so much of our input from offshore, but we have prophets and shepherds within who can teach through art, music, speech, drama and other forms of utterance. They help us think outside the box, and give voice to our own faith and life. They feed the imagination, which can be the domain of the Holy Spirit as we cultivate it and prayerfully tend it.