So back to the Chilean miners (please don't yawn). One of the miners is reported as having said that while it was not God who caused the accident, and it was not God who rescued him; God was with him in the mine and helped him to get through the ordeal. In response to that, the rabbi at religion school this morning told the following story to the children:
A flood came to the village, and people panicked. The most religious man in the village was not worried at all.
"God will save me," he said. The waters rose higher and so the man moved to the upstairs part of his house.
"Save yourself!" people shouted at him, "leave while you still can!"
"I am fine," he said, "God will save me." A boat came by the first floor window.
"Jump in!" cried the people in the boat.
"No, that's ok, God will save me," said the man, and the boat went away. The waters rose higher and now the man had to sit on his roof. A helicopter came by and lowered a ladder to him.
"Climb up the ladder!" said the helicopter pilot.
"No thank you," said the man, "God will save me." The helicopter flew away. Finally the waters rose so high that there was nowhere left to sit and the man drowned. When he arrived in heaven, he demanded to have a meeting with God. This was arranged.
"What is the problem?" God asked the man.
"I am a religious man," he replied, "I believed that you would save me. I waited and waited and waited. Why didn't you save me?" "What do you mean?" God cried, "I sent you a boat! I sent you a helicopter!"
Miracles and magic are not the same thing; and when humans work together to help each other, perhaps they are inspired by the divine spark that is within us all.