A Bible in the Rubble
Last Wednesday, a gas explosion in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York completely demolished two buildings, including the Spanish Christian Church.
Eight people lost their lives, five of them parishioners. Nothing from the church survived. Except for one thing.
When firemen dug through the rubble on Saturday, they found something unusual underneath all the dust and debris: a heavy, leather-bound Bible. Not just any Bible, though. The one that used to sit at the Spanish Christian Church’s pulpit.
The church’s financial secretary, Carmen Vargas-Rosa, called it a miracle.
“I don’t even know how it survived,” she told the New York Post. “It has the full cover, and it just had a little sand.”
“Somehow, God protected it,” said Pastor Rick Del Rio of Abounding Grace Ministries, who’s holding onto the Bible for the time being. “The word was preserved.”
So what does it all mean? Why would God spare this Bible out of all things? Why did he choose to work through this miracle specifically?
I like to think that it’s God’s way of sending a reminder that in the midst of such terrible tragedy, when all hope has been wiped away, he hasn’t abandoned us. We may not understand why bad things happen, seemingly out of nowhere. But, just like the Bible in the rubble, God is still very much there. Holding us through our heartbreak, anger and frustration. Even when he appears to be silent and our faith is failing. Some things can’t be destroyed. What better way to make that point than through this tangible symbol of God’s promise and love?
For a church community that’s already lost so much, the Bible is also a sign of new things to come. A hint at a future God has already foreseen.
“When we rebuild,” said Vargas-Rosa of the Bible, “it will come back home.”
What do you think this “miracle in the wreckage” means? Share your thoughts below.
Photo credit: Warzer Jaff/New York Post