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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Eavesdropping on God

The Spirit won't let us be bystanders

In my childhood home, our telephone was on a party line. How tempting it was to try to eavesdrop on another's conversation — how irritating when I sensed such an intrusion.

"Rubber necking" described the activity of those intentionally trying to overhear their neighbors' conversations. It was no wonder people were guarded about what they shared on the phone. One could never be certain who was on the line and what they might do with what they heard.

In the era of cell phones, eavesdropping no longer seems an option or temptation. Cell phone users seem oblivious that many of us are disinterested in their often very public conversations. In fact, we resent their interrupting our shopping, walking, praying and waiting with their intrusive speech.

Yet eavesdropping is a useful skill when it comes to Scripture.


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April issue

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