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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Low-tech love

Every act of hospitality points to God's love, not just to the host's charity

I grew up in hell — metaphorically speaking. My alcoholic father physically and verbally abused my mother, who was diagnosed with tuberculosis shortly after my birth. She entered a sanitarium, where she plunged into paranoid schizophrenia and never fully recovered.

I lived my first year with emotionally ill relatives. The next 15 years I was shuttled between two ill parents who eventually divorced. Most of the time I fended for myself, like a street urchin in a Dickens novel.

My primary coping mechanism was listening to the radio and becoming a ham operator. I had "friends" on the radio waves but none really knew me.

At college I discovered loving relationships as new friends accepted me in my brokenness. Through them, I found God — or God found me.

In today's fast-paced lifestyle, I fear it's even more difficult to make and keep human connections. New communication technologies have their place, but we often use them to avoid contact with those we should love. We sit in front of the TV night after night, read the newspaper during breakfast and keep the radio on when we're in the car with another person. And many of us surf the Internet anonymously.


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October issue

OCTOBER issue:

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