I don’t know why I haven’t blogged so much here lately, Maybe I was traveling a lot. Maybe I was in the studio recording an album, Maybe I was saying goodbye to Cornerstone Festival after all these years (16 for me, 29 for the rest of them), Maybe I have an intern this Summer that gets the minutes my blog used to have… Or Maybe I’m just afraid of my own honesty right now.
Because always for me, once the pen hits the page I have to face the truth, about everything. So, to avoid opening my soul to you today, I’ll let you hear a story of this Cornerstone Festival through the words of John J. Thompson & the eyes of Nathan Cameron. Well, you’ll hear from them after my brief prelude… 🙂
Cornerstone… We won’t realize it until next year, in the Summer, at the end of June, we’ll start talking about the 4th of July, or about our favorite bands that we first heard at Cornerstone, when we head through the heat, deep into the cornfields, down the road to Cornerstone and realize it’s not there. It’s an empty space… it will hit us then, but also, I think in that moment it will also be reinforced that the people are the thing. That’s all I keep thinking, beautiful and flawed, the relationships are what makes it, so whether Cornerstone rises from the dust hoping to regain it’s former glory, or whether it is laid to rest for something new to rise up in it’s place… Either way it’s run a good race, it’s had a lasting impact on Christian culture, not just the music, the way we think, how we push the envelope. Challenging people to think outside of our cookie cutter religious, social, political & cultural boxes. It made a place for those who didn’t fit in Christianity & provided a forum for those inside the boxes to see that despite the outside appearance it is possible to see and love those who look different with the love of Christ, it may even be possible to build lifelong relationships with them… Which at the end of the day is the biggest thing we all love about Cornerstone.
It was a hard walk up the steps of the Gallery stage with Glen Clark & The Family, I was fighting a battle with my self, with doubt and misgivings and hurt, I was determined to make my arm work to play bass for the first time since breaking my clavicle, I was determined to prove the people wrong who might think my family didn’t belong on that stage, I didn’t want this festival to end, I didn’t want the last one to start, I was struggling.
It may have been a harder walk back up for my own set… But about 20 seconds into my first song, I had a moment with the audience…. A moment where I saw their faces and it washed over me, it’s about the people…nothing on this stage should ever be about me, not my hurt, my emotions, my offenses, my pain at this possibly ending… It’s always only about love for my audience, which often requires a measure of sacrifice. I thought about every hour I had poured out of the last 10 years of my life into this event, I thought about why things change and how quickly, and then I came back to these people in front of me and how desperately I loved them all. How it had so much more to do with our creator than any place that we gathered. With tears, passion and so many measures of peace.
(Here’s a video of ‘Less Than Constant’ from The Gallery set for your potential viewing)
Rather than rambling on in a pool of nostalgia about what a big part of our lives the fest has been, how I’ve seen others equally touched & changed by it, how many years working at Jesus Village I watched as bands & individuals grew up using Cornerstone as a measuring stick, how it made you feel like you fit while swimming in the sea of diverse & like minded people or how much respect & love I have for JPUSA, Grrr Records and Cornerstone Magazine and all the years of hard work & sweat that were poured into this event & into the body of Christ….
Rather than that, I suggest you read this article written by John J. Thompson, Goodnight, Cornerstone | Christianity Today He pretty thoroughly covers so many people’s experience & emotion over what feels like the end of an era. I can’t began to write anything better. I’ve also included this Cornerstone 2012 Recap a video put together by the talented Nathan Cameron. Who better to tell the story than two people so closely entwined with this event, through the pen and pictures they helped us all with our goodbyes.
I hesitated to post this blog as no decisions are final, God may have it in His plans for Cornerstone to come back, but in a different way… In the meantime we pray & realize that Gods hand and the relationships He puts together are always farther reaching than distance and time as we understand it. His ways are not our ways so we’ll see what’s to come.