Hope in the midst of despair


On Saturday afternoon, I was almost in tears after hearing on NPR that the long awaited breakthrough to the Chilean miners trapped since August has been made.  Their rescue is still some days away, but the hope this breakthrough represents is huge.  There is so much bad news reported in the press that I think all of us need to applaud when news like this makes the front page.   Read the story here

As I reflected on this today I could not help but be reminded of the effort that God has made to burrow into my life and set me free too.  Nor could I help but think about a friend of mine who is currently struggling with deep depression.  Most of us have not been physically trapped in the way these miners are, but we have all experienced emotional and spiritual entrapment which we are not sure we can survive.  And the thought of this tunnel reaching into the prison these miners are in gave me hope.

One mother talked about the fact that she is looking forward to the rebirth of her son. And it is very much a birth process that they are going through. Even the tunnel through which they will need to emerge is symbolic of birth imagery. And as they emerge it will be into a world that for them will never be the same again because of their experience.

Part of what struck me is that if our broken human race cares enough to spend so much time and energy rescuing these miners then imagine how much more God cares and is willing to expend time and energy to free us from our prisons. Sometimes in the midst of depression, pain and suffering we feel our lives are hanging by a thread. But God is digging a tunnel through which we can be reborn, brought to the surface and set free. And all around God are a cloud of witnesses, just like the relatives of these miners, waiting, hoping, praying, not willing to give up. Even though we can’t always see them in the darkness of our prisons, they continue encouraging us with their prayers and messages, assisting God’s rescue efforts wherever possible.

Thank God for glimpses of hope in the midst of despair. Thank God for the imminent rescue of these miners.  And more than anything thank God for the wonder of God’s love and care

8 Responses

  1. Your comment related to the trapped miners is so perfect for this gray and rainy Saturday, a day when anyone who is even slightly depressed might just want to give up. Your metaphor of God’s love for us is perfect. How exciting it is to think that the whole world is now holding its collective breath and praying that the rescue is completed successfully. My hope is that perhaps this good news will for at least a little while overshadow all the mean-spirited negativity and fear that currently overwhelms our nation. Thanks for your good words this afternoon.

  2. Sister,
    (You may not like the tone of this response.)
    I rejoice that the Father guided the hands of the Chilean rescuers to bring hope and eventual freedom to the Chilean miners.
    I wonder, however, that Chile can keep alive and free their trapped miners, when the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia proved the grave of those 29 miners trapped because the CEO ordered proper ventilation tampered with, other precautions were not provided, nor did those men even have proper safety gear.
    So far, that odious man, Don Blankenship, CEO of Massey Energy, has yet to express appropriate grief and remorse.
    Oh no, he insists, Massey Energy is nothing but a benevolent employer! So he says over the bodies of 29 dead men – men dead because of his direct orders! And the man is not even tried, never mind imprisoned for his careless homicide.
    The news from Chile sets the “new” US in sharp contrast to the rest of the “developed” world!
    In the US, the institutionalized greed, corruption and lack of concern for human life – only so long as money is made – simply serves to undermine our claims to humanity!

    • I too grieve those deaths and had them in mind as well this morning. And yes greed, corruption and lack of concern for human life are definitely contributors. However I don’t think these are confined to the US however. This is why what is happening in Chile seems so extraordinary and so hope giving.

      • Thank you, Christine, for words of hope for each of us. And thank you, Scott, for reminding us that we are called in Christ to be concerned also for systemic injustice, and that salvation must include removing such evils. Christine, you are right that such abuse is not confined to the USA. But like Scott, I want to highlight it, because we love and are responsible for our own country. And we are called to pray, speak out and work for the welfare of all here.

  3. Amen, sister.

    “… imagine how much more God cares and is willing to expend time and energy to free us from our prisons. Sometimes in the midst of depression, pain and suffering we feel our lives are hanging by a thread. But God is digging a tunnel through which we can be brought to the surface and set free. And all around God are a cloud of witnesses, just like the relatives of these miners, waiting, hoping, praying, not willing to give up. Even though we can’t always see them in the darkness of our prisons, they continue encouraging us with their prayers and messages, assisting God’s rescue efforts wherever possible.”

  4. Dear Sister,
    You are quite correct. Sin is NOT confined to this republic.. Sometimes, one just wants to think, with all our advantages and blessings, that we are expected to be, AND WILL BE, a “cut above.”
    Silly of me, I suppose, since we are no different from any other nation or people.

  5. as one trapped a few times in my life and also one glued to this story the idea of god digging to set me free brings tears to my eyes, thank you!

  6. Dear Brother Paul John,
    Thank you for the kind words of support.
    As you wisely observe, we ARE responsible for this republic we love and call our own – we are not free to leave it to others, are we?
    As I look at the near future, all I can do is remind myself that: a) I must vote wisely; and b) that I must pray God give me wisdom to stand in defense of this, my land.
    I have little else, but I do not lack courage in the “good fight.”

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