Today the immigrant day laborers I visit with every week and I had a good laugh. It's the kind of laugh that is born of deep pain and anxiety. You know, the kind of laugh so you don't cry.
Work has been desperately hard to come by. Day labor by its nature is an incredibly vulnerable way to make a living, and in this economic crisis, even more so. Workers go days without work, weeks with only a day or two here and there.
They had told me before that they don't like it when it rains because there's even less work (although they're still there, waiting faithfully...just like last week, in a cold drizzle). But at least when it snows, there's work shoveling driveways and parking lots and such.
So I asked the guys today, are they hoping it snows? Should we start praying for snow?
Well, it all depends. Most of the time the snow here in Denver is a few inches, then the sun comes out the next day and melts it off in a few hours. No need to shovel.
But if we pray for more, well, you have to be careful there, too -- if it's too much, like waist-high or more, then you can't get out to go get the shoveling jobs (and the shoveling jobs can't get to you).
Then we began to giggle. What kind of snow should we be praying for? What would bring in shoveling jobs, and let them get out to find the jobs, on a steady basis? Everybody was measuring on their bodies -- here? this high? 3 weeks? 1? Finally we figured it out:
Knee-high snows, every two weeks. That should be good. So I will be praying for that. And that they get paid for their work, as there is rampant wage theft in day labor. So that, too.
I hope you'll join me.