BORDERLANDS REFLECTION: “What did you go out to the desert to see? Luke 7:26

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on whatsapp
Share on print

1 December 2014
go out to the desert to see?  Luke

By John Heid

“Our work is done for today,” Joel
yelled across the wash as he waved his arms emphatically.  I was puzzled.  We were still a good four miles from our
destination, Red Tail water tank.  Joel
shouted again.  “We’re done!  Come over here!”  As I approached, no further words were
needed.  A few feet in front of him
lay a sun-bleached human skull, eyeless sockets looking south, resting starkly
among the coal black volcanic rocks strewn across this ancient plain.

Yes, our work was done for the day in
that mid-afternoon moment of Thanksgiving eve.  I took off my hat and sat in silent prayer.  Joel called 911.

Joel, Director of Operations for Humane
Borders, a Tucson-based humanitarian aid organization, and I were conducting
the annual assessment of water tanks in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife
Refuge and replacing the weathered blue flags that prominently identify each
tank.  The person whose skull we
came upon had missed the nearest tank by a few miles.  S/he was the eleventh set of human
remains recovered in the Tucson sector of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands since 1
October 2014.

I knew this day would probably come.  I expected it as much as I dreaded it.  Given the political and economic
realities of our times, my finding human remains, sooner or later was
inevitable.  This man or woman was
likely on his or her way to reunite with family.  Or simply on the way to find work.  All that ended weeks or months ago in
the austere terrain of the Growler valley a few miles from El Camino del Diablo
(Devil’s Highway). 

The ancient Advent query in Luke 7:24-26
rises anew.  What reason did this
one have to come to the desert?  Why
do I?  Why do any of us walk the
Way we do?

Read More Stories

Coast Guard boats docked at the port of Samos

Scandalous case of criminalization of refugees: Trial against #Samos2 set for 18 May

In an unprecedented move, Greek authorities have charged a refugee with the drowning of his 6-year-old son during a shipwreck. On 18 May 2022, he will be on trial in Samos together with his co-passenger, who is facing life imprisonment for steering the boat. Seventy organizations across Europe call for the charges against the #Samos2 to be dropped.

The human rights groups Aegean Migrant Solidarity, borderline-europe e.V. and the European Democratic Lawyers will monitor the trial. Twitter: @BorderlineEurop; #Samos2

three people sit in a court room bent over their chairs, with their backs to the camera.

#Paros3 were sentenced to a total of 439 years for steering the boat

On 05 May, the trial against the Paros3, Kheiraldin, Abdallah and Mohamad, took place on the Greek island of Syros. Both the prosecution and the judges acknowledged that the three defendants were not the smugglers and had not acted for profit, nor were they to blame for the 18 lost lives. Despite this, the three fathers were nevertheless convicted of “facilitating unauthorized entry,” resulting in a sentence of 187 years for the “captain” and 126 years for each of the two “assistants.”

Have you ever been on a CPT delegation?

Skip to content