By Larry Gatlin
It's said that there are no atheists in fox holes. I would add... or in a coal mine if you are there for 69 days.
"And JESUS was in the tomb for three days and on the third day the stone was rolled away."
The account of JESUS' RESURRECTION, is a remarkable story of a man, literally being "raised from the dead." To those in Christendom, the RESURRECTION is symbolic of the earthly salvation that turns miraculously into an eternal salvation in heaven with the RISEN LORD!!
The story has been told and re-told for the 20 centuries that have transpired from that resurrection at Jerusalem, in Israel, to this resurrection at the San Jose mine, in Chile.
This RIGHT NOW RESURRECTION is a miracle of almost Biblical proportions, and it is happening in front of our eyes -- in front of over a billion pair of eyes -- thanks to another miracle, at least to a simple man like me: satellite television.
Dear LORD, and I mean that in it's reverent context, how does satellite TV work?
Anyway, it was not lost on me, and I'm sure not on other Christians either, that every rescued miner, made the sign of the cross, looked heavenward, and thanked GOD for HIS mercy and protection.
My Spanish is very poor, at best, but there is NO doubt that the rescued miners, now known as "the 33", were expressing, not only their belief in God, but their praise, honor and gratitude for HIS MIGHTY HAND, at work in their RESURRECTION, from a rocky would-be grave, a half a mile down, under solid stone.
I think that it would be hard for anyone, "believer" or non- believer...anyone who was watching this event transpire, to miss the symbolism in The Miracle of the SAN JOSE MINE, as it unfolded in hi-def, for all the world to see.
What the world DID NOT see, was any folderol about the "separation of church and state."
What the world DID NOT see was a protest of any kind against the people "on the ground," or, in fact, under the ground, who were invoking GOD's blessing.
What the world DID NOT see was any protesting against the many references to prayers and GOD and DIVINE intervention, that SO INFURIATE a certain faction of our citizens in this, once MIGHTY, but now increasingly SPIRITUALLY BANKRUPT COUNTRY...AMERICA!!
What the world DID see, was a BRAVE, PRAYING PRESIDENT, Sebastian Pinera, who had the spiritual COJONES to "stay the course, fight the good fight, and run the race" against unbelievable odds, in order to be GOD's hands on earth, by putting all of the resources at his command, and by enlisting the help of the United States, and other countries, into trying to save his fellow Chileans and a couple of visitors, and in so doing, unite the whole of Chile, as ONE NATION UNDER GOD....sound familiar?
THERE USED TO BE ANOTHER COUNTRY THAT CALLED ON THE DIVINE PROVIDENCE, PROTECTION, AND PRESENCE OF GOD IN TIMES OF TROUBLE, BUT THOSE DAYS ARE LONG GONE.
Those days have had their own"near-death" experience. POLITICAL CORRECTNESS has eviscerated almost every vestige of the country that was once THE UNITED STATES... ONE NATION UNDER GOD.
I heard a rumor...I do not know whether or not it is true. But from a historical perspective, I have absolutely no trouble believing that it is true. The "story" is, that the ACLU has filed suit to make chaplains stop praying for the safety of our troops ON THE BATTLEFIELD!! I was also told by a good friend, who I trust explicitly, that it was true. I will look into it.
You know the old saying," if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck"...this "ACLU PRAYER THING REALLY LOOKS LIKE A CLASSIC DUCK DEAL," brought to you by those supreme haters of liberty, the "good folks" at the ACLU, who hide in plain sight, dressed as "the champions of liberty." Even if it is not true (if I find out that it is not true,I will issue a retraction and an apology)...even if it is not true, it sounds just like that bunch of "patriots"...don't you think?
But enough about that. Let's get back to the " story of the year" (or the decade) and to a GLORIOUS VICTORY... a VICTORY that could have morphed from victory to tragedy, in a CHILEAN MINUTE, IF THE CHAIN HAD BROKEN, IF THE RESCUE CARRIAGE HAD GOTTEN STUCK, IF ONE OF THE MINERS HAD PANICKED, IF THE WHOLE THING HAD CAVED IN ON TOP OF THEM...BUT THAT DID NOT HAPPEN, and after 69 days in "the tomb," the stone was rolled away, and 33 of GOD's CHILDREN, were lifted to safety, in what Shepard Smith has called their "CHILEAN CHARIOT."
They were lifted out of what was almost THEIR TOMB, into the arms of their loved ones, and in truth, into the loving arms of the entire world.
The thing that struck me?? THE FIRST THING OUT OF THEIR MOUTHS WAS PRAISE TO GOD...Their courage never wavered. Their strength never waned. Their sense of pride never faltered. Their loyalty to one another is now the stuff of legend....but through it all, it was their FAITH IN GOD THAT PULLED THEM THROUGH.
This HEAVENLY DYNAMIC WILL NOT BE COVERED BY THE "DRIVE BY MEDIA", or if it is, it will be downplayed so as to make "IT," incidental, at best.
Well, all I know is what I, and 1.2 billion of GOD's other children around the world saw, and heard.
One of "the 33" ( JESUS was 33 when he descended into "HIS" tomb so long ago) said, " I was in a fight between GOD and the DEVIL, and GOD WON. YES, GOD HAD A GOOD DAY.
We have all been blessed and treated to a glorious manifestation of ALMIGHTY POWER, LOVE, AND GRACE.
The world will long remember "the 33"... I wonder how long the world will remember their first words upon being resurrected from their tomb...GLORIA A DIOS!!
BY THE WAY, to my brothers and sisters who do not share the Christian faith, to you who practice another faith, or are atheists or agnostics, and even to you in the "drive by media"...WAIT...I apologize, AND I SINCERELY MEAN IT, I'M SORRY...TO YOU WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE TRADITIONAL PRESS, I offer this...let us put aside old hurts, ancient prejudices, and long-cherished catechisms, for ONE DAY, AND SIMPLY REJOICE IN THE MIRACLE FROM THE MINE...THE RESURRECTION AT SAN JOSE.
Larry Gatlin is a writer and country music entertainer.