SAN JOSE MINE, Chile—After more than two months trapped deep in a Chilean mine, 33 miners were so filled with confidence, officials said, they were arguing over who would be the last to take a twisting 20-minute ride to daylight and the embrace of those they love.
Officials have drawn up a tentative list of the order in which the 33 miners should be rescued, and the Health Minister said the otherwise cooperative miners were squabbling about it -- so sure of the exit plan that they are asking to let their comrades be first to reach the surface, probably on Wednesday.
"They were fighting with us yesterday because everyone wanted to be at the end of the line, not the
"I would like to illustrate what they are going through today with a conversation we had yesterday," the Health Minister told a press conference near the San Jose mine.
"I questioned them and mentioned we were working on an order in which they would be brought out. I said the order would be determined by technical factors.
"And what was their reaction? 'Mr. Minister, that's fine but I want to go last please.' And then another guy said, 'No, my friend, I said that I was going to be the last one up.' 'No, no, really -- I want to go last, please,' another guy started saying."
By being able to put aside their needs and wanting their colleagues to have a chance at freedom and fresh air first, "they have had a really commendable spirit, of solidarity and commitment to their friends."
Jesus summoned them and said, "The last will be first, and the first will be last... You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave. Just so, the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."