Like millions of others around the world, I sat gripped to my newsfeed, waiting for word on the Thai soccer team trapped deep within the recesses of a cave they had been exploring. Given the series of seemingly impossible conditions that needed to be overcome in order for the rescue to take place, their rescue can only be described as miraculous. A collective cheer went up around the world when the last of the team members, their coach, and rescue divers were safely out the cave, in an operation that will go down in history for its success and heroism.
But what gripped me the most was the value placed on the lives of the team & coach and the courage & bravery of those involved in the rescue operation. That rescuers searched the cave for 10 days, in what must have seemed like a recovery mission. That help flew in from around the world to assist in the mission. That millions of people were praying for boys they would never meet. That no matter the cost or scale, every effort would be made to save these boys and their coach.
We live in a time when human life is given so little value both at the beginning of life, the end of life and increasingly in-between. The secularization of society has reduced the value of life to a subjective feeling instead of having Divine significance. Our culture increasingly views life as expendable and meaningless unless it lives up to certain hedonistic standards that cannot be defined in absolute terms. Lobby groups spend more time pushing for laws that support death rather than life.
As Christians, we know that the value of life is not relative. We know that every single life has value because every single life matters to God and was created for a purpose. And the Thai cave rescue showed there are still millions of people that inherently understand these boys and their coach were worth saving at all costs. Because their lives matter. Because life matters.
Further, the strong leadership, the bravery, the courage, and sacrifice of those involved united the world for a moment. For a moment, it didn’t matter what religion you practised, political views you had, what country you came from, or what language you spoke. The world was united to save these boys. It was a glimpse into what a world that values life could and should look like.
When this era is in the history books, the heroes will not be those who valued the right to die over the right to live, but those who valued life. And I hope the face of each diver in the Thai rescue operation will be on those pages.