Rest awhile you 29 and tho born near or far lay in the land we all call home.
And if the land from which you wrought the treasured black gold should hold you longer we know it shall keep no greater treasure.
Be at peace.
By Kerry Byrne 25 November 2010.
My various drafts over the last 8 days have not kept pace with developments, and this post has been completely rewritten several times. For any of my non Kiwi readers who haven’t caught up with our news, Google “Pike River Mine” and you should get a pretty good coverage.
While I don’t know personally any of the 29, I know people who do. New Zealand is a small country, and we’ve all felt the loss of these miners very deeply. I was surprised at how intense my own feelings were as the week progressed. I felt the shock, the anxiety. I prayed for hope. Then I wept. Then I prayed for those left behind, and wept some more.
I was conscious earlier in the week of feeling more for this tragedy than other “far away” events that have been even more tragic in terms of loss of life. I posted the following on my facebook page:
When stuff happens in far away places like Chile or Georgia, it's easy to shrug it of as "just another mining accident". When it happens just down the road, it suddenly becomes more significant. But the far away ones are just as significant, so why does it take a close to home event before I actually start caring?
As humans we don’t have the capacity to care deeply about every disaster that’s happening on this planet on any given day. (We’d probably end up in a nice comfortable padded room if we tried.) But I believe in a God who does care, and walks through the grief and pain with us.
And I offer this hope to those who have lost loved ones. The nation is grieving with you, praying for you, and we are here for you to lean on.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before be
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Psalm 23 (NIV)
Be at peace. You will not be forgotten.