How does "God" decide which people are to be showered with his "graces" and which people are to be left to perish in the hands of the "evils" of nature and men?
If we are to believe Cathy Babao-Guballa in her Inquirer.net article 'There is no hole too deep, where God is not deeper still', God was "with" those 33 miners as they endured their 69-day ordeal...
The miners were rescued a day before the feast of Sta. Teresa de Avila, which I found significant. As a young girl, growing up with a lot of angst, I often sought refuge in her words to carry me through difficult days: "Let nothing disturb you; Let nothing dismay you; All thing pass; God never changes; Patience attains all that it strives for. He who has God finds he lacks nothing: God alone suffices."
In the end, faith and patience are our strongest allies.
One of my favorite authors, Corrie Ten Boom, a Jewish concentration camp survivor, once said, "There is no hole too deep, where God is not deeper still."
The Chilean miracle rescue only served to reinforce my belief that in the difficulties we encounter, there is never any hole too dark or too difficult because God is bigger than any challenge we face.
I wonder in regarding the above, how a mother who lost her husband and two teenaged daughters and is left with a severely-injured son figures in God's "plan". This mother was one of the "survivors" of the 23rd August hostage drama in Manila that left eight people dead as a result of the ineptly-executed rescue effort of Philippine authorities.
Why does God choose to be "with" 33 miners and not "with" innocent tourists subject to the whims of a crazed gunman? For that matter, why does God choose to shower the minority affluent world with his tangible "graces" while the majority are left with a mere encouragement to squeeze (applying their best imaginative interpretation skills on his "Word") some religious "meaning" from the immense physical suffering they live with everyday as a result of their extreme poverty?
For me there is a far FAR simpler and logically sound reason why 33 Chilean miners are alive today and eight Hong Kong tourists died in the hands of Rolando Mendoza last month.
It is not because one happened to have the "significant" fortune of transpiring a day before the feast day of some obscure saint while the other did not.
And it is not because one enjoyed the "presence" of a God who is deeper than the the hole they were in while the other was left with a God who was too busy on that day listening to the prayers of the prayerful.
It is because the people who were involved in the Chile mine rescue did something correctly and those involved in the Manila hostage incident did something incorrectly.
Perhaps only those who truly understand what it means to be spiritual (in contrast to those who are merely religious) are the ones who harbour enough insight in their minds to know enough not to put their God on the spot by invoking his name when "reflecting" out loud on why some stories end happily.