Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: NEWS (07/05/18)
- TITLE: Forgotten History
By Linda Lawrence
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I’ve always been a homemaker at heart; not the home economics kind. Cooking and cleaning brought me little pleasure. I instinctively strived to create a place where God’s presence was felt, a place of rest and refreshment, prepared for those who are weary of the world’s troubles and need a place to recharge before going out and facing the world again. My husband needed such a place. My struggle was to keep the world’s storms out of our place of retreat. I am thankful that during all his years of traveling to report on war and refugee camps and cultural revolutions and genocide he was always eager to come home.
Carl listened to the news over and over. Day after day. To my shame, I did not want to know too much about crises over which I had no control. I am an optimist and thought of Carl as a pessimist. He saw himself as a realist. I prayed for God’s Spirit to fill our home with His presence. I have to wryly chuckle at the contrast between my idealism and the reality of the strains of family conflict and the intrusions of newscasts. Thanks be to God, it appears guests seldom picked up on our familial tensions but enjoyed the sense of God’s presence. That was a gift.
I am vaguely remembering something that happened during the first year of our marriage. We were living in a trailer house behind the radio station where Carl was the station manager. It hadn’t been easy to make the home cozy, but I had done my best with what I had to work with. Nevertheless, world news literally invaded the house. The station, KGEI, The Voice of Friendship, was located on the salt flats of San Francisco Bay, next to a field of short-wave transmitters aimed towards Latin America. We didn’t need a radio in the house. I could hear fragments of music and news coming through the toaster and light fixtures.
It was October 1962. Here is an understated but brief summary of what became known as the Cuban Missile Crisis: President Kennedy discovered Soviet Premier Khrushchev had supplied Castro’s Cuba with missiles that were aimed at major cities of the United States. Kennedy planned a speech to reveal to the public the presence of the Soviet missiles and publicly demand their removal.
An hour before the President’s speech, Carl and nine other managers of powerful radio stations, received telephone calls from Pierre Salinger at the White House asking the stations to “voluntarily cancel” regular programming and let the federal government use the facilities for an indefinite period of time. AT&T technicians were already at the front door of the station, ready to install a line for Voice of America for Kennedy’s use.
Apparently, while the nation was made aware of the crisis, much of the negotiating and threats were made behind the scenes, to keep the nation from panic. We were actually minutes away from the possibility of a global nuclear war, but Khrushchev did back down! It amazes me that I had to do internet research to remember this historic event - and I was married to an active participant in the drama.
What I do remember is when Voice of America signed off, the Voice of Friendship was eager to sign in and remind their greatly expanded audience that the Voice of God proclaims: Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no help, but believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, you and your household.
For the next fifty years Carl would be glued to what was happening around the world, watching for where God would reveal Himself. I, too, was always watching for God to make Himself known - but within the boundaries of my small domain. Each of us received multiple glimpses of His power at work.
When Carl was ready to retire he invited me to choose where I would like to settle. We moved to a peaceful cottage in the Pacific Northwest. I had one request as we settled into the next stage of our lives. No newscasts during the dinner hour.
Memoir Psalm 146:3; Acts 16:31
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