October 13th, 2010, the day a miracle occurred, thirty three times.

Following sixty nine days of prayer at a place known as Camp Hope, hope became visible as the Phoenix capsule rose to the surface of sun-parched Chilean ground and the lives of thirty three trapped miners were set free. Thirty three heroes, celebrated one by one by crowds of anxiously waiting family, by heads of national leadership, by teams of medics and media, and by the watching world.

Online, on-air, on the front of newspapers, on mobile handsets…the world held its breath, held its focus and held its hope that each and every miner would re-emerge, hearts beating, healthy. Even now, days on, images of the San Jose mine rescue in Chile continue to fill the world’s airwaves. Stories and scenes of miners celebrating a life re-captured. Celebrating a miracle.

A remarkable time. In Chile, and everywhere else. Today these thirty three miners now stand tall as heroes. But they are heroes not simply for having been trapped down in the mine for over two months. It is because of their enduring determination to live. Through the darkness, both physical and psychological, they looked for the light. As expressed with rawness and realness by miner Mario Sepulveda: “I saw the devil, I saw God. God won!”

Their strength, their spirit, their story, their solidarity now form the DNA of their miracle.

And together, these men and their miracle, fed the world – at a time when feeding was desperately needed.

The past two few years have been exhausting on the spirit of the world. Global economic crisis seeded a global emotional crisis, all at a time when global concerns regarding safety, security and sensibility continue to grow. While technology seeks to bring people closer together, underlying fear of the person unknown continues to push us apart. Differences become defining and dividing.

As a result good news has become a precious, rare commodity. Through our day to day life it can often feel that reasons to believe in the goodness of mankind need to be mined from all that exists to prove otherwise. Increasingly scarce – reasons for the world to connect through a pure spirit and determination, around something positive, something which reminds the world of the priceless value of life, of one more day, of hope.

And then last week, for the first time in a very, very long time, the world was able to come together, quietly and calmly, with one single shared emotion: HOPE.

Hope, a single heartbeat beating softly and patiently deep underground in a Chilean mine, gaining in strength as days of human drama increased in count. Soon the heartbeat began to beat with extraordinary strength, turning the hope of the world into one body, one spirit, one prayer and one joy.

The Phoenix capsule travelling up the Plan B rescue shaft to the waiting world was, in so many ways, a journey up a (re)birth canal. For the miners now rejoicing life, renewing vows, reaffirming faith and repeating prayers of thanks, it was the start of life anew.

For the watching world it was a powerful force which swept across the globe, breaking down borders both political and personal, feeding a vital part of the human spirit.

Most importantly the miracle in Chile was a powerful reminder of a fundamental human truth: sometimes to find hope one has to dig deep…but it is there. And it is waiting to see the sunlight again.

Copyright: ANITA MENDIRATTA 2010