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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Bearing witness

Nothing separates us from God's love

To what does one cling when one has experienced separation beyond human understanding? The question haunted me as we witnessed Hurricane Katrina’s destructive power on the Gulf Coast. “Have you gone back to your home?” I inquired. Silence, tears, then wrenching words: “I have no home to go back to. No earthly possessions except the few things we took with us. Everything is gone.” Separation.

“Suddenly our congregation was scattered,” a pastor said. “First the terrifying fears that some may not have survived. Then the attempt at contact but cell phones didn’t work, land lines were down and e-mail reached only a few. As the days passed I began to find members in North Dakota to Florida, Tennessee to California. Some I still have not found. Bishop, how do I serve as pastor to a congregation in diaspora?” Separation.

Mighty winds and pounding waves tore away the veil revealing what too often we deny—amid our affluence far, far too many are trapped in poverty. Separation.


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