I am writing this entry from my front porch. Across the street a family is gathering, mostly to support each other. Earlier this week Hector (not his real name) was rushed to Denver Health Medical Center. He had slipped into unconsciousness. His liver is failing and unless he gets a new one he is going to die. Hector is a father of four; the youngest just started kindergarten at the school down the street.
I met him the day I moved into this neighborhood, 14 years ago. He likes to talk – a lot! He is a good neighbor, father, worker and husband. It is obvious that he adores his family.
On its own this is one of those situations that raise all kinds of “God” questions – Why would you allow this to happen? Is this really just?
But there are other complicating factors as well. You see Hector does not have “documentation” that allows him to “legally” live in this country. The direct implication is that he is not “qualified” to be on a transplant list. I realize that immigration is an extremely contentious political issue. But watching this scene play out across the street and in front of my eyes moves the discussion from a disconnected political debate to a deeply personal reality.
Hector is going to die and leave behind a family that needs him, simply because of where he was born. Somehow this makes him less worthy – less human. Can this be moral, right or just? Especially in a country that regularly claims to own the moral high ground.
The more I study Scripture the more the theme of “inclusion” emerges. How we treat the stranger and alien says something about the quality of our faith.
I am not a politician. I still believe that this is one of the most amazing places to live. But we can be better and we can do better. One of the first steps is choosing to welcome, include and allow access to all levels of services to the strangers and aliens among us.