Friday, October 2, 2009

News from the Moon

This just in.....

The dust remains undisturbed yet again. The craters remain ever-calm as the rocks retain their form. Reporters at the Sea of Tranquility have confirmed that it has lived up to its name. Our pollsters have calculated that the level of uncertainty hovers right at 0%.

We have no reports of violence. Unemployment has reached an all-time low. We have no instability, no corruption, no gangs, no drugs, no exploitation, no oppression, no fear, no dengue, no swine flu, no death. Everything remains as it was. The dust remains undisturbed yet again.

And news from around the Solar System...

Our nearest neighbor is over 238,800 miles away. We report that Honduras has deteriorated into chaos, leaving its people with complete uncertainty about their government and their way of life, but it's too far away and too remote to cause us any concern. We report that global climate change continues to threaten the entire population, but we've done a pretty good job at keeping our atmospheric emissions to 0%, of anything, and have nothing to fear.

And speaking of atmosphere, here's the weather...

It looks like sunny skies for the next few days, followed by fourteen days of darkness. Temperatures will stay right around 220°F with a 0% percent chance of precipitation. We have no rain. We have no lightning. We have no clouds. We have no atmosphere. We cannot appreciate the movement of the wind, the torrential waters, the magnificent displays of light. The dust remains undisturbed yet again.

And now our special report...

Many of you have heard about these missionaries that wander around Earth, searching for God's presence in the midst of the suffering. You may have heard how they work with global missions partners such as the Evangelical Lutheran Church of El Salvador, who seek justice in all areas of people's lives. You may have heard how these partners labor constantly for human rights, stewardship of the environment, health for all, and worldwide witness through education, ecumenicism, and inclusion of all God's children.

We know that many of you have felt compelled by these stories of hope. Fortunately for us, we don't need mission. We don't need to worry ourselves about things so far away. We don't need to offer ourselves for others while we have our own worries here. We don't need to feel the power of the storms. We don't need the saving power of Jesus Christ. We don't need this lunacy.

Thank you and good night...


I live in the guest house of the Salvadoran Lutheran Church, situated right next to the central offices. The house itself is a work of the church. It houses several college students from outside the city, acting as a more affordable dorm. Its kitchen serves lunch to all the workers and guests at the central offices. It also houses those who work in the kitchen and their children. The house, called Casa Concordia, also serves as a home base for work trips from sister churches abroad and refugees who can find no other place to stay.

I have developed a jovial relationship with my friends at the Casa Concordia. When I wander around aimlessly, as I often do, we say that my body may be in El Salvador, but my mind is on the moon. My friends have begun to greet me by asking about the latest news from the moon. My answers soon grew trite as nothing really changed. It's still dry. It's still dusty.

I noticed how this life on the moon contrasted with the life I actually felt, especially as I would sit on the house's porch to enjoy the many night storms we experience. I enjoy watching the downpour from underneath the safe cover of the awning. I enjoy the gentle breeze and the mist that makes it through to me.

I have had the opportunity to visit several places in El Salvador and talk with several people about their experiences. The Salvadoran people have some tough struggles. Also, I have felt deep concern for the people of Honduras, our next door neighbor. They live in a time of total uncertainty right now. Before all this surfaced I had planned to attend an ecumenical gathering of young adults in Honduras starting today, but we have canceled these plans because we don't want to take the chances. Fortunately, El Salvador continues to struggle at the same pace, with uncertainty but at least with stability.

How does this "News from the Moon" compare to your own life right now?

In what ways do you feel like the lunar beings (lunatics?) watching the broadcast, apart from any of the suffering on planet earth?

In what ways do you feel like the earthlings, ignored by those living in peace?

One of our Lectionary texts this week is Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12. How does this compare to our news from the moon?

As I did some minimal research on the moon for this blog, I discovered that the lunar surface does receive some wake up calls from meteors fairly frequently. How would a meteor impact affect tomorrow's "News from the Moon"? Could we use a wake up call of our own?

Nick hangs out with some friends on the porch at the Casa Concordia:

Home sweet home.

Marisol takes a break with one of her friends from the University.

Jorge, the P.E. major, actually does some homework.

A visitor from the moon.


  1. As ever, your talent for expressing some profound thought through some outlandish, bizarre prism 'shines through.' Sr. Mitton would be proud.

    Just starting out in law school, a bizarre enough universe of artifice, I certainly feel far removed from the ebb and flow of world events, and from human suffering, much as your lunar beings. I hope eventually to find a way to achieve a more satisfying balance... like a good lawyer, to be out there inflicting the human suffering and manipulating it, right? hah. I most certainly hope not. We'll see-

    Be well, my friend. ¡Buena nota!


  2. Well, I'm sure you're getting your fair share of problems there in DC. To use our space analysis, you may be on the moon far removed from the Earth (because, after all, DC is the epitome of irrelevance when it comes to world events), but you're constantly under attack from law school Martians! Keep your wits about you. They have been known to attack suddenly and ferociously, showing no mercy, and fighting to the death. So, while you may feel disconnected from the Earth, your experiences with Mars will make you battle-ready for those days when you must encounter yet again Scott's car.

    Peace be with you and thank you so much for this thoughtful comment.


    p.s. For those of you who don't understand all the inside jokes about Sr. Mitón, Martians, and Scott's car, you're not missing much, unless you happen to be Sr. Mitón.

  3. Nick,
    Thanks for sharing your reflections and the pictures of the recent flooding. We continue to hold our brothers and sisters in El Salvador in our prayers.

    We've also begun the planning for our summer 2010 trip. I'll try and keep you posted on our progress.

    Dale Matherly