Walking The Honduran Caravan
Tin soldiers and Nixon coming… four dead in Ohio
I awoke at 5: A.M. in the middle of a fitful, full blown nightmare. I sat up on my five star, tempur-pedic mattress, threw off my cushy down comforter, turned the heat up a notch on my furnace and put my little dog Shadow’s new winter coat on her… when, suddenly, I was somehow teleported to the Sonoran Desert in Mexico. There I sat under a jeweled sky of a billion stars at some impromptu desert camp fire surrounded by my successful lawyer buddies… Charles Leahy, an “intellectual property” lawyer, educated at MSU college of law (formerly known as DCL) and residing in Harbor Springs, Michigan and Mark Bucchi of the very Catholic Notre Dame University and Rutgers Law School and Charles Kronzek, a Divorce Lawyer of many skills, whose web site tells us he represents “clients with substantial assets” while for diversion he is a swimmer “as long as the water is warm.”
The conversation of my erudite lawyer friends was hard to hear and even more difficult to decipher, but I heard phrases like “invasion”… of the body snatchers, “neutering” (or, perhaps, it was “neutralizing”) the Constitution with Presidential-imperial edicts and rocks as projectiles that must be answered with military rifles, the “Rule of Perpendiculars” and Posse Comitatus. I thought to myself… “Whoa…how did I get invited to this strange dream???”
I knew I was socially and intellectually over my head with this group so (as Robert W. Service said in The Ballad of Sam Mc Gee) “I took a hike.” As I wandered about the desert of darkness and on a land many forlorn sounds, I remembered how cold and unforgiving the desert can be at night and how overwhelming hot during the day. I felt something scurry over my Adidas footwear… a furry like, brown creature of many legs and about the size of a tomato. Suddenly, I was lost and on my own, not sure if I was safer alone than back at camp with my distinguished, erudite lawyer friends.
Suddenly, without warning, I was surrounded by a sea of broken humanity… a sea of brown people crying out for help and clinging to me. They were weak, hungry, thirsty, cold, dehydrated and exhausted. Many had no shoes and, even those with shoes, had blistered feet that could no longer carry them over the harsh terrain of the desert. Rashes and abrasions of the skin were beyond repair, Disorientation, post traumatic emotional shock and fright took over their souls and the light of God was slowly being extinguished from within them. One of their younger children, a seven-year-old girl with sand filled, matted, black hair and parched skin, Guadalupe Sandoval, had been bitten by a tarantula while she slept on the desert floor and was in end stage, anaphylactic shock with her throat swollen closed and the light within her hopelessly burning out as her family desperately clutched her and wailed as the others said a Spanish rosary. The lifeless child, who had only known heartache and suffering in her abbreviated lifetime, had to be pried in death from her unconsolable mother, so little Guadalupe could be buried under the scrub of the Sonoran Desert as… “Seven Spanish Angels took another angel home.” The “homeless, tempest tossed” troop of “poor, huddled masses” of brown skinned men, women and children “yearning to breathe free” left little Guadalupe behind and continued their desperate walk toward the shores of their Galilee.
As they continued their desperate walk North, God’s brown skin children turned toward me, and with all their rawness of their exposed, soulfulness cried out, “You are an Americano, please help us. We will work hard and do what you tell us to do. Please save us.” Well, I immediately went back to the place where my erudite lawyers friends were comfortably basking in the fire light… because I intuitively knew that those well educated lawyers and their “clients with substantial assets” would have all the answers… even if the music died. But, as hard as I tried, I could not get my lawyer friends to divert from their legalese… “Rule of Perpendiculars,” “Rule against Perpetuities,” Posse Comitatus, Presidential edicts and from their preconceived notions of dangerous marauders, invaders and Middle Eastern ISIS hidden within the brown skin caravan. I was overwhelmed and defeated by the obtuse language of the law and the spin of the facts. I went back to the brown skinned caravan and apologetically told them the bad news… my powerful, rich, lawyer friends can be of no help because they are men of the law and they are hopelessly entangled in the words of the law.
But, the brown skinned souls asked me to please go back and give it one more try… this time using the “message” of the “Man walking in sandals.” I thought… “It can’t hurt.” I went back and told my lawyers friends they had to do something because the “message” of the “Man walking in sandals” supports the brown skin caravan… “When I was hungry, you gave me to eat, thirsty, you gave me to drink and even imprisoned as an outcast you visited me.” And, “whenever you do these things for these the least of my brothers and sisters, you do it for me.”
Well, my erudite lawyer friends, at least, agreed to put the matter up to a vote before the American people. The ordinary Christians of America and the voices of our Jewish brothers and sisters begrudgingly relented and said… “We will help. If Germany, Italy, Greece and Turkey are taking in millions of forlorn masses, we must do our part until we can figure out a better way forward.” But the Evangelical Christians who support President Trump said “no way. Let them eat cake. We comfort the comfortable and afflict the afflicted and we only believe in the ‘right to be born’, not the right to quality of life after birth, so make sure those brown skinned babies keep getting born into hopelessness and despair.” I left the brown skinned caravan to fend for themselves and me to fend for myself. “God save those forlorn masses and God save us for ignoring them.”
The evangelicals finished with a prayer of support… “Donald, Donald… he’s our man. Donald, Donald, he’s got the plan to bring down the caravan. Call in the United States Army. Don’t give a damn and don’t give a hand. Just whack the brown man… again and again. Besides we generous white Americans have already done our fair share by letting the black man into America… all those centuries ago.”
Tin soldiers and the Donald coming… how many dead in Texas???
I am afraid that my erudite lawyer friends have, by and large, known only good times in life and swam only in “warm waters” and have suffered very little. As Mahatma Gandhi said, it is only human suffering that opens hearts, changes minds and allows us to see ourselves in the faces of migrants and immigrants… “Mere appeal to reason does not answer where prejudices are age-long. The penetration of the heart comes from suffering.”
The Greek poet, Aeschylus, also knew the value of “suffering.”
Even in sleep
Pain which cannot forget
Falls drop by drop
Upon the heart
Until… in our own despair
Comes wisdom…Through the awful grace of God
As I said months ago in another post, would that there was a Night Beatitude…”Blessed are those who have not suffered, but understand the plight of those who do.”