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The Touch of Eternity

What is a simple handshake worth? To your people, it's priceless.

As a graduate student in the Netherlands, I played baseball as a diversion from constant studying. The sports editor of a large newspaper in Holland asked to do a brief interview with me. I thought his interest in interviewing me about playing baseball was strange, but I agreed. The editor came and interviewed me, then a photographer took my picture. I expected the article would be buried somewhere in the back pages of the sports section. However, a few days later I saw a huge picture of myself on the front page of the sports section, along with a two-inch headline that said in Dutch, "American Minister Baseball Player." The editor's interview with me was the lead article for that day's sports page.

As I read the article, it suddenly dawned on me that the article had nothing to do with my prowess as a baseball player. What made me newsworthy was the fact that I, a minister, was sliding around in the dirt playing baseball in public. This was absolutely unthinkable in the Dutch culture, where ...

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