The chewy thoughts of a queer Christian

Hard Sun

I have decided to start a new series of posts called Songs that Touch My Heart. Building on White Blank Page, I will occasionally review and reflect on songs that I feel have a special way of reaching into the soul and resonating with something deep inside.

All the posts in this series will be put into one category which is clickable in the menu on the right.

Hard Sun by Eddie Vedder (an Indio cover), is from the Into the Wild soundtrack .

When I walk beside her
I am a better man
When I look to leave her
I always stagger back again

When I listen to this song, I feel connected to the sacred feminine. Listening to it as a hymn to a female saviour helps to understand a part of God that is often forgotten in male-centred religion.

The image of the big, hard sun reminds me of God’s warmth and love, beating down everywhere. Often we don’t even notice it, but it is there. But it also describes the awesome power of God – the bright sunlight, beating down from above. Just as the sun shines down on everyone, God loves, blesses and judges all people equally (Matt. 5:45). It’s a big, hard world for everyone – even for the big people we think might have it easy.

But the hardness of the sun is counterbalanced by the softness of the love reflected in the verses. On a personal level, She is intimately close. She is far wiser than us, but playful and patient.

Once I dug an early grave
to find a better land
She just smiled and laughed at me
and took my blues back again

We reject God, do everything we can to escape from Her. But like in Solomon’s Song of Songs, we are curiously married to the being we worship, lover and beloved, separate and yet united.

I belong to my beloved,
and his desire is for me.
Come, my beloved, let us go to the countryside,
let us spend the night in the villages.
Let us go early to the vineyards
to see if the vines have budded,
if their blossoms have opened,
and if the pomegranates are in bloom—
there I will give you my love. – Song of Solomon, 7:10-13

But such relationships are not easy. The balance of dependence and independence is hard to strike. The last verse explores what happens when you lose yourself too much, and damage the relationship.

Once I stood to lose her
and when I saw what I had done
Bowed down and threw away the hours
of her garden and her sun

He turned to destruction, and had to warn his love of what he had done. The song never sees the resolution of the relationship:

Forty days and forty nights
and it’s still coming down on me

But it ends on the chorus, which reminds of the justice and equity of God. There is hope still for this relationship; he has not given up, and this time, he is waiting for Her. We must be faithful to God as much as we expect Her to be faithful to us.


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