Psalm 63: O God, you are my God – For you I long! For you my body yearns: For you my soul thirsts.
Labor Day 2016, as usual, was an inspiring celebration for Joanne and me. To march with fellow workers, to sense the enthusiasm of younger workers, enlivened hope in our hearts. As old timers, we had attended many Labor Day celebrations, but this year was special.
I was moved by talking to old friends who were in the battles beginning in the early 80’s. The company we worked for, Briggs & Stratton, mounted a full blown attack on our union. We went on strike, but were forced back to work. Labor law as interpreted by the Reagan Administration left us with little voice. Of course, since that time the situation for labor is worse. Most now recognize the problem of income inequality, but few favor changing labor law so that workers’ demands for fair wages can be effective. Where does Hilary Clinton stand on E.F.C.A., the Employee Free Choice Act?
After the parade and chatting with friends, we headed home. We set out to walk to our car which was parked a couple of miles away near Zeidler Union Square where the march began. Both of us were exhausted from parading in the heat and standing talking to friends. At the gates of the festival grounds we met an African American woman with her CWA t-shirt who told us she was waiting for the bus that takes people back to their cars. We waited, but decided to walk. After a few blocks in the heat we wondered if we could continue. The woman we met at the festival ground gate was right behind us. After taking a look at us she advised us to sit down and rest, and we did. She went on ahead, but soon came back with two cups of ice cold water. It was emotional for us; we could only come out with a simple thank you.
Lord when did we see you thirsty and give you a drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you?
I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.