Le Pas Opton, Vendee | France
I L-O-V-E summer in France, they really are a blessed nation.
They’ve got the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Pyrenees, the Alps, great rivers, varied countryside, magnificent villages & chateaux, rich street music, style, speciality foods, sun ripened fruit & veg, and of course, the language of love.
Our own special wee place there has been the Spring Harvest Christian campsite, Le Pas Opton, near St Gilles Croix de Vie, in the Vendee ( between Nantes & Bordeaux).
Christian campsite? I hear you say. Yep, unashamedly. It is not naff, it is not like being stuck in church after a year of being stuck in church. It is simply, wholesomely, lovely. Not perfect, but lovely.
It has been a safe place for our kids to learn to ride bikes, disappear with friends for hours on end in freedom & safety, and for us to dip into or ignore the either wonderful or passable Christian content. It is a place for International friendships, friendly sporting competition, and big meals outside long into the evening.
Our eldest son has a love of learning exotic new words & then scattering them inappropriately & gratuitously through every sentence. I have no idea where he got it from. Must be his ma
"Hey dad! You know that smell you get when the rain hits hot dusty ground, there’s a name for that….. Pet-ri-chor! How I adore Petrichor! Can’t wait for more Petrichor! Do you deplore Petrichor? Etc. Etc. It made for a long evening……"
Still he had a point, there’s something special about that combination. Intense heat, dust, & the a sudden quick drying downpour of rain. The closest you get in Irish summers is the smell of freshly cut grass in the fields, but that’s sweeter & gentler. Sun, dust & rain make a scent like my wife’s freshly conditioned hair, only more intense. Less like perfume, more like aftershave or truffles if that makes sense? I know I could do better here, so I think you’ll just have to go somewhere hot & dry to experience it yourself!
It got me thinking, there’s something Jesus said about sun & rain in the sermon on the mount isn’t there? And sure enough, there it was, in Matthew 5:45. Jesus talking about forgiveness as universal as God blessing good & bad people with sun & rain. so I wrote this song with a bible, croissant & a dark roast coffee looking out through an open caravan door at rain hitting the hot ground.
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
Matthew 5:44-45 NIV
Good theology is not always systematic...
Just in case some spiky headed theology numpty (I’m sorry, but such people do exist) wants to have a pop at me for implying universalism or ignoring God’s judgment, this is an example of one of Jesus’ many one liners designed to stick in your head. It’s not meant to be a systematic theology. He sometimes speaks in snapshots, not movies, choruses not hymns. This particular one liner is comparing the outpouring of God’s ‘common grace’ with God’s forgiveness. It doesn’t comment on whether people on the receiving end respond in faith.
I love the fact that whatever our circumstances, God’s love really is being poured out on you & me, on everyone, good or bad, day, upon day, upon day. His forgiveness is there for us in the same way, all the time, like refreshing rain or warming sun. It even smells good and has a special name ……
Perhaps from now on, the definition could be Petrichor “The smell designed to remind you of God’s constant blessing, love & forgiveness….often found in close proximity to its visual counterpart, the rainbow” (Yip, he still owns that too).
This wee song is probably the closest to a title track for our album ‘Sunshine For Rainy Days’. It’s simple, but it catches the spirit of what we’re trying to communicate. Life can be pretty dark at times, but there is ALWAYS light. Please don’t confuse light or fun songs you hear in this album with shallowness. Someone very important once said we have to become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven…….
Note for musicians
This song uses a lot of plucked strings and 3 note slides to imply the weather. Think raindrops and rays of sun. Hopefully it creates the right impression! There’s some lovely warm cello for the sun from Gwyneth Reid of New Irish Arts, and great 4 part harmonies & sung chords from Sarah, Gillian and Michael when it gets to the bit about “all men” (sorry ‘people’ just didn’t rhyme, but you know it’s a generic ‘men’ right?)
Sun & Rain – Lyrics
© 2019 KDMusic
” Storms come, clouds go, but,
God’s love lasts forever,
Life can be, all pain & no gain, but,
God’s love last forever.
For just as the sun shines on the bad & good,
Your promise to make us new is for all men,
And just as the rain blesses the right & wrong,
Your love is for everyone, day upon day.
You pour your blessings on a-all men,
You pour your blessings on all men,
You pour your blessings on a-a-a-all men,
You pour your blessings on all men. ”
#sun, #rain, #blessing, #forgiveness, #madenew, #stormsoflife, #allpainnogain, #Godslove, #forever, #allmen, #goodandbad,