Evidence of God's Hand in Chilean Mine Rescue?

The number 33 seems to be involved in the rescue of trapped Chilean miners. Is it just a coincidence? Silly numerology? Or a sign of God's love?

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This week, people around the world watched breathlessly as 33 miners in northern Chile were rescued, one by one, from the collapsed mine that had trapped them underground for 69 days. Their survival, most would say, is nothing short of a miracle. For some, there's clear evidence of God's involvement.

The BBC and Associated Foreign Press have reported that many Chileans point to the number 33 as proof that God was involved in the rescue. 33 is believed to be the age Jesus was when he was crucified, and the number of miracles Christ performed in the New Testament. The number has come up several times throughout the miners' ordeal:

  • There were 33 miners.
  • It took 33 days of drilling to reach them.
  • The rescue shaft had a diameter of 66 centimeters (2 x 33)
  • The rescue began on Oct. 13, 2010, which can be written as 13/10/10... adding up to 33.
  • The first note the miners sent up to reveal they were alive... had 33 characters (including spaces)

I don't know how I feel about this. With Mysterious Ways stories, we stay away from numerology, unless it's a number that has a deep personal meaning to the person who encounters it. Next Wednesday in our Mysterious Ways newsletter, we'll feature a perfect example of what I mean. If you're not a newsletter subscriber, you can still check out our Mysterious Ways topic page every Wednesday for new stories.

What do you think? Is "lucky number 33" just a superstition? Or is it a sign? Either way, it's clear a lot of things had to go right for these miners to be rescued, and somehow, miraculously, they all did.

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