Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Stunning News from West Virginia

Restless, I got out of bed and turned the television on expecting to find a continuation of the jubilation I witnessed and shared last night in response to the announcement that 12 of the 13 miners trapped in a West Virginia coal mine were alive. When I read the caption, "Surviving miner identified as 27-year-old Randal McCloy," I was stunned. What a devastating turn of events. My imagination is not flexible enough to conceive of the staggering pain, disappointment, and anger that fill the hearts of those who loved these men. Video footage of them filing out of the small Baptist church at which they gathered gives me some idea. 

Reflecting on this heartbreaking news, Al Mohler writes:
This tragedy -- and the relief experienced in this rescue -- should remind those of us who work in relative safety that our lifestyles depend upon millions of workers in coal mines, steel mills, and other places who face very real and present dangers.
Those of us described by the late Peter Drucker as "knowledge workers" and by former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich as "symbolic analysts" should take this opportunity to pay humble respect to those who, for example, dig coal deep in the earth in order that we might have heat and electricity.
God cares and provides for his creation in part through the labor of people with diverse callings or vocations. All honorable work, therefore, has theological significance. Today is indeed a good time to thank the Lord for people like miners and, of course, to pray for those who hours ago knew unspeakable joy and now experience unimaginable sorrow.

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