In 1970 (yes, that 1970) I was living in San Diego, California as a Navy Seaman. Boot camp was not more than a week behind me and I was enjoying my new freedom. It was time to make my first major purchase as a ‘free’ man. The Navy Exchange was a huge place and I found myself in the aisle with the cassette players. For you younger readers, a cassette player was used to play music cassettes much like a CD player plays CDs and similar to how an MP3 player plays music. A cassette player was hot stuff in 1970. The one I choose was larger then a regular size book but smaller then one of those coffee table books. The case of the player was green and beige and included an am/fm radio. A microphone accompanied the player so I could make audio tapes to send to my family back in Pennsylvania. I was feeling pretty ‘uptown’ holding that hunk of audio gear. Mine was similar to this one-
Of course, I needed something to play on the machine so I meandered over to the cassette display to purchase my very first cassette. The search for the right one didn’t take long because a Dionne Warwick tape practically jumped off the rack into my hand. You see, I was in love with Dionne. The Exchange door had not closed behind me before I slipped that cassette into the machine and pressed the ‘play’ button. I was rewarded by the sweet sound of Dionne Warwick serenading me with “Don’t Make Me Over”. That cassette didn’t leave the player for two days while I carried on my love affair with Dionne.
Time has passed, a whole lot of time as passed, a real whole lot of time has passed, since that moment in San Diego. I stayed in touch with Dionne while she continued to have hits into the 80’s. Our relationship outlasted cassettes and continued on CDs.
I never saw Dionne in concert and never met her but she continued to be special to me as we went our separate ways and the years dissolved behind us. She is singing to me as I write this blog (Do You Know the Way to San Jose?)
All of that changed on Valentine’s Day this year when my ‘forever love’, My Jane, and I celebrated by attending a Dionne Warwick concert. (we were pretty far away from the stage, but that is Dionne at the end of the concert) After all those year I was sitting in an audience seeing and hearing the classiest woman on stage. The years dissolved as I was mesmerized by a now ‘white haired’ Dionne Warwick and her beautiful voice. This was one of those concerts where everyone knows the words and sings along. No one was a stranger in the auditorium that evening and my love affair with Dionne was rekindled.
We ended the night with a worship experience as we all sang “What the World Needs Now Is Love” and “That’s What Friends Are For.” Introducing “What the World Needs Now” Dionne stated that we need love more than ever in our world and we responded with an emotional rendition of that anthem.
We really do need love desperately in our world. What the world needs now is love for everyone of God’s children. Who are God’s children? Every single human being walking on this earth is a child of God. When we love one of the least of these we love God.
What the world needs now is love.