Friday, October 15, 2010

No Miner Accomplishment

Every once in a while the world gets a breather from bad news with a heart tugging story that ends well. Such has been the case of the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 70 days after a cave-in. Hats off to the mine administration, at least for the recovery effort. Cuddos to the Chilean government who welcomed ideas and help from all over the globe. Well done humans around the world who sent ideas, equipment and other humans to help with the rescue. Well done all! The crew shift leader, Luis Urzua, recognized quickly what could happen to send the men spiraling down the shaft, so to speak, of depression, anger, fear, and anarchy. He organized them to clean, work, recreate, and hope. I have no doubt when the movie is made his character will take center stage. The church got in on the help in a very ecumenical way, also. Prayer meetings and vigils were organized around the nation. Someone was praying at the mine at all times. As soon as the smaller relief tube was drilled and the miners immediate physical needs were met, their spiritual needs were attended to also. The Seventh Day Adventist sent down mini-Bibles for all the miners. The Jesus Project sent down 33 MP3 players with an audio adaptation of the famous Jesus film. The Catholics sent down a crucifix and statues of the saints and the virgin Mary. The Baptist Press reported that two miners made first time professions of faith and became Christians. Faith was tested no doubt, but faith became integral to the group as they prayed and worshipped regularly together. Minor Jimmy Sanchez said that "there are actually 34 of us, because God never left us down there." I'm afraid I see a cloud on all this silver lining, however. Maybe we in the church need to continue to pray for these miners. They are now becoming celebrities. Offers are coming in from all over the globe. Vacations to Europe and the US are offered. Book and movie deals will come at them. They have agreed to agree together on these things but will their coalition hold? Who will speak for them? How will they make decisions about who to trust, which "deals" to accept, if they should pursue legal courses and just become rich from all the attention being thrown their way? Can their marriages stand the strain? Already some have decided to end "empty" marriages and one miner, Johnny Barrios had two women waiting up top for him (only the girlfriend went to the rescue, the wife stayed away) They have handled the tragedy of the cave-in remarkable well. How will they handle the pressure they are about to endure? I hope the church steps in as it can without barging in on their lives to offer balance and remind them of those spiritual lessons learned underground. I hope those lessons help them say "no" when necessary even if it cost them monetarily. I hope the cave in remains the real tragedy and that their individual lives aren't caved in from the pressures of being stars now. The Bible warns us in Proverbs 27: 21 that "the crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but a man is tested by the praise he receives." A kind and trusted soul should read Psalm 49: 16-20 to them, a part of which reads " do not be overawed when a man grows rich, when the splendor of his house increases; for he will take nothing with him when he dies,.... A man who has riches without understanding is like the beasts that perish." So the world rejoices as it should over fellow humans hanging in and triumphing over great adversity. It gives us all a boost and a little hope in whatever dark places and cave-ins we might face. There is hope, there is help, and God never leaves us alone in our own darkest moments. But don't stop praying for these guys and their families. It may be a hard prayer to pray (I know as I have done it myself) but for them and ourselves Proverbs 30:7-9 mights be appropriate: "Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die; Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty or riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise I may have too much and disown you and say, 'who is the Lord?' Or I may become poor and steal, and dishonor the name of my God." The miners made a decision 70 plus days ago to live and triumph. Now even more decisions are being forced upon them. Hope they choose well. You and I face the same kinds of decisions, they are just spread out in time a little more. Pray that we all choose well by the wisdom of God. These are not just miner decisions, they are also ours. Often in the dark, but never without a Light, Cos PS: Tom, 42-46=88