I was heartbroken Saturday morning when I read, around 10:15AM, that the space shuttle Columbia had burned up over Texas. I was especially saddened when I heard that the family of Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli astronaut, was at Cape Canaveral waiting for his return.
President Bush addressed the nation later that morning saying “The Columbia is lost. There are no survivors.” I believe he was genuinely saddened by this event. And then in a move that I’m sure has the “no one in government should ever even think of God” crowd in a lather, he quoted the prophet Isaiah saying
Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength not one of them is missing.
He then continued
The same creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to Earth, yet we can pray that all are safely home.
There is a growing page of editorial cartoons paying tribute to Columbia here that are really good.
My minister ends each Sunday morning service with these words “whether we live in the Lord or die in the Lord, we are the Lord’s.” I believe that. And I also believe that those seven brave souls who died Saturday morning have most certainly gone home.