Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Proud to be an American?

Today I watched the Shuttle Discovery take off. NASA has a cool feature on their website called NASA TV. It allows anyone to watch, real time, the launch of the space shuttle. It starts with the astronauts loading and allows you to hear everything they talk about. You can watch them get strapped in and then watch the entire process from countdown to liftoff. It also allows you to hear the captain talking to mission control. It's very impressive. You can watch the guys in Mission Control hugging and patting backs after the successful lift off. Each man has a small American flag near his station seemingly always remembering who they are working for.

The pictures are amazing. After 3 minutes, they are 36 miles above the earth; after 7 minutes, you can see the curve of the earth from the shuttle; after only 8 minutes, you see the huge rocket boosters fall off and toward the ocean floor below. Only eleven minutes after lift off, Discovery is in orbit and flying about 5 miles/per second. They are now into launch about 30 minutes and are over Eastern Africa. Amazing!

I must admit, I had goosebumps when it took off - and even got a little teary eyed. It's amazing to be apart of a Superpower Nation that spends billions of dollars to get man into space. I'm also amazed that men (and women) can think at levels I only aspire to. They think thoughts that get people to space-they build the platforms, the rockets, the foamy protection. They can guide a huge shuttle like playing a video game. It does make me proud until I think about what we could do to end poverty in America...if we wanted to.

The same minds that build shuttles, rockets and space stations could think of ways to end hunger and the ugliness of poverty. I want America to be in space and to do amazing things but I also have a deep desire for our country to be about the business of our citizens - to ensure that little children have food and a place to sleep at night. I guess we choose not to do this - because I know that if we can send a man to space and bring him home safely, certainly, we can end poverty and feed everyone in America - or the world.

I was talking to a friend last night about his job at a Seattle youth shelter. The kids he sees really need help, not space stations or rockets but the same level of thought that goes into making rockets could end their struggle.

Forget about God, Jesus, the church (ha!) and even some well-meaning Christians helping - that's not the help I'm speaking of. They need real help, tangible help..daily bread, shelter, jobs - stuff we take for granted sometimes. I wonder what to think when we launch a shuttle into space and are amazed at it and my friend talks to 14 year old prostitutes (living on the streets of America) everyday who are looking for some food and a place to lay their head and who are more than willing to use sex as their currency.

I am proud to live here-I am happy it's the 4th of July - I want to do better and want to engage in the thought process that will make a difference in people's lives. I don't know how to connect the two thoughts of youth shelter and NASA but it's what I'm thinking about and wondering how to make life in America better for the hurting, the marginalized and the poor among us.

Happy Fireworks!

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About Me

I work at a Christian School district only 4 miles from my home. The people there are full of grace and love and I am glad to be a part of this ministry. I have a neice and nephew whom I love dearly. They are 12 and almost 15 respectively. I have two amazing sisters and two amazing brothers-in-law. Of course, I would not be here if it were not for my mother agreeing to marry my dad. Good going mom! My parents are my life and I would literally be NOTHING without their unconditional love, support and care. You rock mom and dad. Then there's Will & Lora...their giggles are like sunshine and their parents crack me up too.

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