Edison and Elvis

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes; with your right hand you save me. Psalm 138:7

I have a new friend. His name is Edison Pena, one of the rescued miners from Chile. Actually, we haven’t met, so technically we’re not friends…but he’s someone who I certainly admire for his attitude, his spirit and his perseverance through a difficult situation.

Along with 32 co-workers, Edison was trapped for 69 days in an underground mine in Chile, while the world watched and waited in anticipation of their rescue. Originally it was reported a rescue might take 4 months, so maybe 69 days wasn’t so bad! One of the things Edison did to pass the time was to run several miles everyday, up and down through the mineshaft. It’s worth mentioning that he didn’t have his Nike running shoes at hand, so he had to “make do” with his steel-toed work boots. It was unclear to me whether Edison was an Elvis fan before the mine disaster, but during his entrapment he also spent time listening to a lot of Elvis tunes on an IPOD lowered down from above.

In the month since the miners’ rescue, no doubt they have experienced a myriad of emotions. Their lives will never be the same. Edison made several TV appearances during his recent visit to the US. He ran and completed the New York Marathon this past Sunday, under the 6 hour goal he had set for himself. I’m assuming he never planned to run that race, nor even visit the US back in the summer. Edison will also be stopping off to visit Elvis’ Graceland before returning home. It’s amazing how our lives can change course so quickly.

I happened to catch Edison’s appearance on the Letterman Show the other night. I invite you to watch the clip, and hopefully it will make you smile, as it did me. Elvis never sounded so good…


Thank you Gracious God, for wrapping your loving, protective arms around these 33 miners while they waited patiently for their rescue and the chance to start life anew. May we realize it doesn’t have to take being trapped underground for 69 days to make changes in our own lives.

Andrea Heshmati

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