This past week, it’s been so nice to read good news in the paper each morning as I drink my latte. Rather than the usual death and destruction, we witnessed (again and again) the US Airways plane land safely on the Hudson River, with all 155 passengers emerging unharmed and standing on the wings. Captain Chesley Sullenberger pulled off his miraculous feat minutes after losing both engines. The NYFD and ferry boat operators were on the scene immediately. Once again, the people of New York City showed their true mettle. I can’t imagine how chilling it must have been for office workers along the river, especially those who lived through 9/11, to see a huge jet zoom in that close.
Tomorrow the eyes of the world will focus on the inauguration of our first African American president. I remember, as a small child, thinking it wasn’t fair that black children had inferior schools and untrained teachers; then in fifth grade my school became de-segregated. We’ve come a long way in the 40 years since then. Whether we voted for Obama or not, two things are still true. First, we get to see the American dream lived out before our eyes – the one where every person has an equal chance at success, even a bi-racial child raised by a single mom or an immigrant who arrives on our shores with just the clothes on his back. Second, our country feels a desperate need for a hero. Captain Sullenberger filled that role last week. Here in Northern California, people have placed their hopes in Obama to fix all of our nation’s problems. I pray he will live up to his high calling, but he is bound to disappoint. After all, he’s human. Only Christ, our true hero, will not let us down.