Like many of you I was watching the Chilean miners being brought to the surface the last few days; mostly from my hospital bed after surgery to remove a cyst. What struck me most was the number of men who thanked God for their deliverance along with the engineers and others who made it possible. That these spiritual accolades were more than mere words was made evident by the clutching of Bibles, the sign of the cross, and in one case, a miner taking the time to kneel in prayer before moving on from the place of his extraction. I was moved to tears more than once.
Though my situation was no where near as dire and that of the miners I too felt the strength that comes from my faith. Please understand I make absolute no comparison here between my situation and that unfolding in Chile. But also understand that as I laid in the hospital, the knowledge that there were people out there praying for me made even my minor challenges more manageable.
Our culture is inundated these days with the message that our faith is worthless, that we pray to a God that doesn’t exist. The skeptics will look at the events at the San Jose Mine and tell you the same outcome would have resulted if there had been no prayer, no Bibles, no spiritual references, just the indomitable human spirit to survive.
I doubt it!
What these men have gone through is beyond imagining. As their stories unfold of the next few months, a nearly endless list of magazine articles, interviews, a few book deals and at least one feature film I’m sure, I am sure the majority of them will tell of how the strength to survive this ordeal came, not from within, but from each other and from somewhere far outside of themselves. The events surrounding the rescue of the Chilean miners are a study in faith and it’s power to strengthen the human spirit with the indwelling of the Spirit of God.
There is much to be learned here. My fervent hope and prayer is that the media will not shy away from the religious context but rather examine its role closely and allow that lesson to be heard, unedited and without editorial comment.