The West Virginia mine disaster story continues to unfold in the news today. At last report rescue attempts for the missing miners had been suspended because of dangerous methane levels. I can't imagine what those families and that community are going through.
Homer Hickam has penned a lovely piece for the Wall Street Journal about mining. Hickam is, of course, the author of the Coalwood trilogy which includes the famous Rocket Boys, which was made into the film October Sky. The trilogy also includes Sky of Stone and The Coalwood Way, all of which I absolutely love and treasure.
In the WSJ, Hickam writes about his father's dream for Homer to become a mine engineer; Homer, of course, wanted to build rockets and work for NASA, something his father saw as a pipe dream. But his father's words about miners are worth remembering as we pray for the miners in West Virginia:
While we were watching his miners, he said, "Sonny, coal is the lifeblood of this country. If coal fails, the country fails." Then, he shined his light on his men and said, "There's no men in the world like miners. They're good men, strong men. The best there is. I think no matter what you do with your life, no matter where you go or who you know, you will never know such good and strong men."