A simple scan of Facebook status updates shows that the world was gripped by the story of the rescue of the miners in Chile. I listened to a news report this morning that captured the celebratory response of a nation and the world.
Here are some images that caught my attention:
- 69 days, $20 million...
- loud cheering as each miner appeared and was declared safe
- the daughter of the oldest miner said, "This is like a rebirth"
- tears of joy at the appearance of family members who were lost in the mine
- the word "rescue" repeated over and over
I was brought to tears because my soul resonated with the story of those who were seemingly gone but then were rescued. My heart felt what it would be have been like to lose a close family member or friend but then to have them back again - restored to me.
I couldn't help but ask myself, "Why did this story more than any other seem to capture the attention and hearts of the world?"
A rescue story captures our attention because I believe we all know deep down in our hearts that we need to be rescued. The reality is that we all need help even though we may convince ourselves that we do not need anybody else. We all need to be rescued.
If there is a longing in us for rescue, then who is the one who rescues us?
The celebration in Chile as each miner was rescued immediately led my mind Jesus' words in Luke 15:1-7 -
Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.
I see with clearer eyes this morning why the story of the Bible invites us into a story of rescue. The Bible paints a picture of someone who does not leave those in need of rescue to be alone, to die, to remain helpless.
Instead, God stepped (literally) into our world, put on flesh and rescued us from which we could not rescue ourselves - our separation from God, our separation from others, our separation even from ourselves.
Jesus is the one who leaves the 99 sheep for the 1 lost sheep.
Jesus is the one who rescues us.
Jesus shows us that God cares, God rescues, God restores relationships (with God, with others, even with ourselves as we discover our true selves in him).
I rejoice at the rescue of the 33 miners!
I also rejoice because this story (re)points me to the big God story and brings the same tears of joy that can only come a rescue as monumental as the one God undertook for me (and the world).