This morning, Holy Saturday, I began my day by heading down to one of the local day labor pick-up sites. When I arrived I was quickly greeted by a gentleman with a question, “Are you with the minutemen?” Not only was I not with the minutemen, I didn’t even know what he was talking about. I later found out that the minutemen are a self-organized group of residents who protest illegal immigration and the hiring of day laborers. They aren’t very kind in their protest and are often racist (as I have discovered by reading more about them).
I was there to feed hungry people soup. By the way, it is not illegal to hire someone for a casual, unscheduled job, say painting a room or mowing a lawn. We opened the back of the truck and said, “?Quirres Soupa?”, and they came … 72 people came to be filled with good things. Of course, the minutemen didn’t appreciate it. One yelled out at me, “Dispicable. Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s.” I still have no idea what she was talking about. Another took “secret” video photage of us so who know where that will end up. But still they came; they came because they were tired and hungry and we fed them in the name of Jesus.
It seems to me that the Bible has an awful lot to say about caring for the poor. “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you , ‘You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.'” (Deuteronomy 15:11) However, if that’s too Old Testament for you try this on for size, “Depart from you cursed … For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me. … Truly I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” (Matthew 25)
So for now, I will continue to go down on Saturday mornings (8:15 at the corner of Quince and Mission if you want to join us) to feed the stranger in my land. I will continue to offer a cup of coffee to the homeless who live behind the dumpster across the street from me. I will continue to clothe the naked and comfort the sick, in mind, body and spirit. I really am hoping to begin visiting those in prison. This is, afterall, what post-Easter life looks like isn’t it … a little bit of heaven right here on earth?
And for now, I will continue to say, “Quierro aprender mas Espanol. ?Me ayudas?” (trans. I want to learn more Spanish. Will you help me?)