More than a mine-or miracle

I spent an hour on Tuesday watching Spanish language TV, even though I don’t speak Spanish.  It happened to be the only channel I could find that was showing live coverage of the Chilean mine rescues … and, honestly, I was riveted, even though I couldn’t figure out 95% of what they were saying (my knowledge of French accounts for the other 5%.  Yay for Romance languages!).

Did you watch any of the rescue coverage?  It was really astonishing:  nail-biting, moving, beautiful, and gosh, just such a feel-good story when this world desperately needs one.  I tried to imagine the feelings of the wives who stood there in their white hard hats, nervously twisting their fingers and talking to the president and watching that astonishingly narrow hole in the ground.  A few of them wore obvious makeup, which I thought was sweet; I could see them wanting to look extra-nice for their husbands after that horrible ordeal underground.  And yes, I shed a few tears as I watched the reunions.

Can I just say that anyone who works as a miner has my total respect? Holy smokes, I can’t imagine doing that for a living.  I mean, I get nervous in underground parking garages.  And those men, who hung in there for sixty-nine days without sunlight … well, they are made of very strong stuff indeed.  This short piece from The New Yorker is a nice tribute to them … and it is so lovely to read it now, two days after it was written, knowing that they all made it out okay.

I know it isn’t over yet; I am sure there will huge adjustments for all of these men and their families.  There has to be a psychological toll from that kind of experience.  So in addition to prayers of thanks for the rescue, for the brave rescue workers and the brilliant engineeers and everyone else who made it possible, I’m going to pray for the miners’ healing and recovery.  I hope the readjustment to life in the light will be a relatively easy one for them.

I never used to know any miners, but now I feel like I know 33 of them.   And I think the whole world feels the same.

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