Thursday, August 28, 2008

Whatsoever A Man Soweth

The past few days our little small city has made the national news.

Seems a local industry has been "visited" by the Department of Homeland Security's I.C.E.(Immigration customs enforcement) team. Seems said employer has been hiring illegal immigrants for some time now. At least 600 have been "detained" so far. The largest raid in US history. The owner of this company (B.H.) is a local person that has built his company from ground up. Through the years this business has provided jobs for the community, but recently it has been difficult for local people to get jobs there. One day people from Mexico started showing up and before you knew it, mostly Mexicans were working there.

My husband worked for this company for 22 years. It was a difficult place to work. No retirement, very few benefits, 10-12 hour days, sometimes 6-7 days per week. Did I mention very poor working conditions and environment. He stayed with it for as long as he did because it was a job that kept him close to his home and family. About 3 years ago, he finally had enough and quit.

One particular day ,while he was employed there, will be FOREVER burned into my memory.

It was a very cold and dark December morning in 1989. I was 9 months into chemotherapy for Hodgkins disease. I was weak and without hair, and swollen from massive doses of prednisone. The union was on strike, trying to get a few pennies more from B.H.(owner) It's important to know that the union at this company was weak and lame at best. My husband needed to work. We had no other means of support. My life depended on the health insurance through this company. On that December morning, the first day of the strike, my husband called the company office. He asked if there would be some support at the gates to protect those that needed to cross picket lines. He asked what the consequences would be regarding employees health insurance if he wanted to honor the picket lines, since he was indeed a union member.

He told them his wife was at home dying of cancer.

They said too bad. Fend for yourself. Cross the picket lines and come to work or we will cancel your health insurance. They could do this in 1989.

I will NEVER forget the way my poor, sweet husband looked going off to work that morning. Seemed as if he had the weight of the world on his shoulders. He had a sick wife and 3 kids to feed. We didn't know if he would be stoned or shot at while crossing those picket lines, and furthermore he had a heartless boss that didn't care. At all. Not one tiny bit.

He crossed that picket line that day and for many days after. It wasn't pretty. Ask any union member how they feel about members crossing picket lines. Not pretty.

My husband now has a new job now. One that he really enjoys and for a company that seems to care about its employees. God has blessed him. God has blessed me. God has blessed our family.

As for his former boss? I take no delight in saying he may now be reaping what he has sowed.

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap." Galatians 6:7

Blessings, peace, all good.

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