The Heart of a Stranger

US President Barack Obama pauses while sPresident Obama took a chance yesterday.
“Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who’s working hard to provide for her kids,” Obama said. “We’ll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day.”

And he went on…
“Scripture tells us that we shall not oppress a stranger, for we know the heart of a stranger—we were strangers once, too,” Obama added, quoting Exodus. “My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants We were strangers once, too.”
She sat in a dark apartment, with her coat on because it was freezing in there, two directors chairs that probably came from Wal-mart the only furniture in the place, other than a twin sized bed, without a headboard or sheets, but at least it was covered with a blanket in the tiny bedroom. She had difficulty communicating with us at first, my limited Spanish just enough to let me know she was sick. Tears streamed down her face as she tried to lift herself off of one of the chairs and walk to the stretcher we had at the door, ten feet away. I helped her.
In a way, we all helped her, I was just the arm.
That is what we do here in America. We help people. We have plenty, complain all day about how much the other guy has, but in the end, we’re okay, with a roof over our heads, and enough to eat, and supermarkets full of food, albeit expensive food, but the basics are there, and we can afford them if we want, might have to put the cell phones down for a while and get rid of a few apps, but we can afford to live here, and live well, and still lend a hand.
Yeah, we’ve got our problems, and lots of them, but I’d much rather be part of the society that takes in the fifty-three year old woman in need of life saving heart surgery than be stuck wherever she came from whose culture either cannot afford to, or simply does not wish to care for their own.
We got her to the hospital. Her blood pressure was 78/40, heart rate 140, tears rolling down her face, bloody stool for three days, dizzy, weak and alone. She had had open heart surgery in February, done by the most respected heart team in the area, a very well known doctor the lead surgeon. People wait for months for this man. That a poor woman with nothing was his patient filled me with pride. I must be getting soft, one day I’m on a tirade about illegal immigrants, the next I’m in their living room, proud to be the figurehead of a society that takes them in.
I don’t know, we’ve come to a place where it will be impossible to keep it up. I only hope that the rest of the world catches up with us, morally, financially and compassionately. And we can all, as human beings with similar hopes and dreams and problems take care of our own, no matter from where we came.
Speaking of coming from places, our armed forces have been putting their boots on the ground in countries where we are needed all over the world, most recently in Africa, where thousands are dying from the Ebola outbreak.
Did I mention I’m proud to be part of this society? I am, and still wish there was a better way, but we do what we must to get it right, here and half-way around the world, and hopefully, within my lifetime I’ll start to see some progress toward that end.
Stay safe, Americans, here and wherever we are needed, and stand tall, we’ll do our part to keep this a peaceful, benevolent society with opportunity and compassion for people who need and deserve it. And I suppose the ones that do not will manage to get theirs, but at the end of the day we will know we’ve done our best.
They put the lonely woman into intensive care. I still wonder why she lived in an empty apartment with no furniture.


1 Comment

  • greg says:

    “Thanks Mike.

    I just walked my kids to the school bus. We stood in the cold for 10 minutes. Then I had to drive to the school because my son forgot his shoes. When he called and said, “Dad can you bring my shoes to school?” I had to ask which pair from the pile of shoes I should rush to him.

    Most any parent would say, I would do anything for my child…stand in the cold, rush shoes to school, etc…

    I can’t wrap my head around the level of despair and hopelessness that a parent must feel to pack their child’s backpack with a few snacks and bottles of water and them point them north for a 1000 mile journey to our southern border.

    I share your pride. Let’s keep doing the best we can to help our neighbors.

    Be well friend. “

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