Parenting Codes – 071

He didn’t allow him, but said to him, “Go to your house, to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how he had mercy on you.” (Mark 5:19 WEB)

In all my studies about parenting I’ve yet to find Morse Code listed as a vital tool. When children are small you can talk about anything and they don’t understand. After a few years they understand so you resort to spelling. But, what do you do when they learn to spell? Use Morse code of course!

I remember hearing my Dad use Morse Code to communicate with fellow Amateur Radio operators around the world. From the time I was old enough to descend the stairs to our basement in Georgia I remember the lilting sound of dots and dashes. This was long before computers, Internet access and the ubiquitous email. This was when a mobile telephone filled the trunk of your car and let you sport a long whip antenna attached to your bumper. SMS and cellular phones were the things of Science Fiction movies.

As soon as my brothers and I learned to spell our parents resorted to Morse code. In the middle of a dinner conversation the shouts and whoops of three boys would be interrupted as Dad would dah-di-da his message to mother who would reply with the appropriate di-dah-dit. This kept my brothers and I at bay for a number of years as we struggled to learn letters and words in regular English. Visitors thought our parents were a bit loony when they began making beeping noises at one another during a meal.

Eventually, we all learned code in the interests of self-preservation. It was nice to again know what was going on at the dinner table and around the house. After many years of procrastination I finally took my Amateur Radio examination and earned my “ticket.” My communication with the world expanded beyond the telephone to other nations, without International calling charges.

My children, on the other hand, never succumbed to the desire to develop a good fist. There’s something magical about communicating with people from around the globe. Using Morse Code is more romantic than making a phone call or sending an email. It takes a bit of skill, preparation and you never know who will answer your CQ. You meet some interesting people when you open yourself to chat with anyone “out there.”

One of the first additions to our home on Guam was a radio tower. It was attached to the rear of our house with a tri-band beam mounted on a rotor topping the steel structure. I was ready to talk to the world.

I had more opportunities to share my faith as this international hobby brought the diverse culture of the world into my life. My bedroom closet was full of equipment and I would often be found chatting with someone across the globe late at night.

One morning I connected my transceiver to one of the huge curtain antennas at the transmitter site. In minutes I was chatting with folks throughout Europe. They commented on my magnificent signal considering the five watts of power I was dribbling into the antenna. When I explained the details of the antenna system they were amazed.

Simple language, common terms and a little bit of power brought people to my door and allowed me to visit their homes. Too often we use special codes, known only to those in the know, when attempting to share the message of salvation to friends and neighbors.

God’s message of salvation is simple. Our sharing of God’s work in our lives should be simple. Maybe then we can communicate better and bring others to God’s doorstep. We don’t want to hide our messages in code but make them available to anyone who might hear. God’s plan of salvation is simple. Likewise sharing about our faith too should be simple and clear.


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