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Do You Like Piña Coladas?

Do You Like Piña Coladas?

FEBRUARY 28, 2023

/ Articles / Do You Like Piña Coladas?

The twist is, it’s not about love from us, but about love for us.  So drop another quarter in the jukebox, because that’s a tune I wouldn’t mind hearing just one more time.

Steve Brown writes with a winsome and self-deprecating humor that softens the ground of our hearts to receive the good news of God’s radical grace.  

Kendra Fletcher’s writing uncovers deep spiritual truths hidden in the scruffy and inglorious quotidian events of our lives.

In Chad West’s writing, he bares his soul such that – in an elegant aikido move – he also lays bare our own delusions and pretension.

Then there’s me, sitting here in my favorite chair at 6:10am, asking to be God’s instrument. And sure enough, He brings me a deep insight.  So welcome to my TED Talk on how you and I are actually the main character in The Piña Colada song (I say “Here I am; send me.”  God replies, “Send in the clowns.”)

If you’re not familiar with Rupert Holmes’ 1979 magnum opus “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”, allow me to catch you up…

The singer regales us with his first-person narrative of a relationship gone stale. So much so that he takes out a personals ad in the newspaper (did I mention this was 1979?).  In the ad, he describes his ideal romantic partner and, once published, he receives a letter from a would-be inamorata asking to meet him.  Well gang, they do indeed meet and – spoiler – it’s his current gal. And together they marvel at all the personal details they never knew about each other (presumably over a round of piña coladas).

Believe it or not, this ballad of infidelity is considered to be a love song.

But this morning, sitting here all comfy and judge-y, I hear the prophet Nathan’s voice saying “You are the man!” 

Yeah, I am the man – and not in the congratulatory sense of that phrase.  I have a True Love and yet off I go, looking for a better deal. Over and over and over again.

Reminds me of another, much older song…

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it;

  Prone to leave the God I love

And just like some sad, anonymous midday tryst at a local Holiday Inn cocktail lounge, as the encroaching shame replaces the quickly-evaporating afterglow, you realize you spent all your treasure on a counterfeit.

It’s the story of Hosea and Gomer, isn’t it?  Except that with time and experience, you come to realize you are not the ever-pursuing Hosea; you’re the recidivous working girl he’s after.

But why? Why the wandering and wantonness?  Back to Rupert Holmes and the song at hand… My guess is, the singer once did know all these details about his love.

But then he forgot.  

And in forgetting, he suddenly no longer knew her.

And slowly but surely, he grew comfortable not knowing her.  

So off he goes, not realizing what he really wanted was right there all along.

To borrow the oft-quoted line from Scottish writer Bruce Marshall: “The young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God.”

So what does it take for a wanderer to return? Maybe it could be as simple as remembering.

Dang it… I just realized that The Piña Colada Song (not to mention Hosea and Gomer) is a love song – and not just through the hazy prism of quaalude-fueled disco-era hedonism.
The twist is, it’s not about love from us, but about love for us.  So drop another quarter in the jukebox, because that’s a tune I wouldn’t mind hearing just one more time.

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