Now that 33 miners have been lifted from 2000 feet below the surface of Chile’s Atacama desert, Camp Hope will soon be a memory.
At one point the temporary tent city in the middle of a barren nowhere hosted between 2,500 and 3,000 family members, journalists, volunteers and rescue workers.
Now 70 days after the August 5 cave-in, a nation’s hope has been replaced by memories of the miners’ ordeal and the emotional images of reunion with family members, rescue workers, and a watching world.
And on this morning after the last miner has been rescued, my guess is that many of us sense that the story we’ve witnessed together is like a shadow of a far greater drama that is still unfolding.
The Apostle Paul writes of those who have already have been “saved” but who are still living in hope of another rescue that has still left us with deep groans. In his letter to the Romans he writes, “For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. The Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:24-26).
Like the 33 miners who have already been “saved,” we, who have been saved by the rescue of Christ, each have our own stories. The difference is that our rescue, while secured by the immeasurable love and sacrifice of God (vv 31-39), has only just begun… while leaving us in our own Camp Hope, where there is still a lot of work to be done… and groans to be endured…