SANTIAGO, Chile (BP)–“¡Gracias Señor!” (Thank you, Lord!) may be the quote of the year.
That’s what an estimated 1 billion people around the world heard Oct. 12 as the Chilean miners emerged from the depths of the earth — returning from death and darkness. They reminded us that life is the most precious gift God has given us. “¡Gracias Señor! Thank you Lord!” should be a constant poem of thanks to Him who “has the depths of the earth and the heights of the mountains in his hands” — a paraphrase of Psalm 95:4 that was printed on the back of the T-shirts the miners wore as they were rescued.
The rescue of the miners is an historical event without precedent, which brings to mind Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. He gave His life as a ransom to rescue humanity, and has demonstrated that He is an expert at freeing souls trapped in the depths of the abyss.
This is corroborated by the testimony of Jonah at the bottom of the sea, by Daniel in the lions’ den, by the transformation of millions of people throughout history and by the statement of miner Mario Sepulveda: “I was with God and I was with the Devil. They fought over me and God won. I held onto the best hand and I was never afraid that God wouldn’t get me out of this.”
“Thank you Lord!” is even more notable when we think that these men were lost 700 meters (more than 2,000 feet) underground, in the middle of the Atacama Desert. They have reminded us that, as our national anthem says, “our fields embroidered with flowers and the majestic mountain, a happy resemblance of Eden, are a bulwark and a gift from God.” Chile today is a grateful country that has reminded the world to set its eyes on the things of God, who sustains the universe.
Likewise, it was humble men, who had no public or media relevance before the collapse of the mine, who installed the quote of the event onto the front pages of newspapers, on live television, the Internet, Facebook, Twitter, and all the different media platforms all over the world. I suspect that “Thank you Lord!” was the general feeling of the entire Chilean population. It was a muffled scream since the day we found out that they were alive. We were all tuned to the same frequency — presidents, artists, actors, scientists, religious leaders, singers and so many others. They all expressed basically the same thing in different parts of the planet.
Let’s be fair and grateful. It’s true the rescue has presented Chile — its government, engineers, private companies and society — as a sophisticated model to the world. But all of us together couldn’t have avoided the loss of lives if the mine would have fallen on them. It’s a miracle; the miracle of Copiapó.
¡Gracias Señor! Thank you Lord!
Christian Maureira is Chile national director of Campus Crusade for Christ.