All of us have felt at times during this most unusual situation a sense of loss, floating from one day to next, wondering what has happened. No one can answer why we are all in this situation. If we watch the TV News, any channel, we are flooded with information and statistics that really mean so little to the ordinary person on the street – let alone give us consolation or a way forward! The only thing we all seem to understand is the term “lockdown”!
Yet most of us who will be reading this will have had a home, access to food and some sense of security in our little world of lockdown. Whereas possibly unknown to us, many were not so lucky. They were caught up in a life of detention, or sorting out their financial or mental problems sleeping rough on our city streets: (Image from itv.com) many recently estranged from partners, others crashing out on someone’s sofa due to an abusive episode, the list goes on . . .
We thank those around us for taking note and being aware of the plight of so many who had to deal with homelessness, insecurity of their status and those just left to fend for themselves over the past few months. Refugee Week around the UK opened the eyes of many to recognise the talents and inner resilience of wonderful people who despite their situation were able to rise to such creativity. Thanks to so many volunteers who brought food packages, communicated by phone, offered on-line activities and donated material for those house bound, those struggling in hostels, hotels or shared accommodation and not forgetting those left in detention – all of this made a difference to the lives of those often forgotten.
Pope Francis writes: God did not want the resources of our planet to benefit only a few. We have to learn to share in order to grow together, leaving no one behind.
This poem is one of many written by a refugee that really tells it all:
I can see a white ironing board, a kettle and cold water.
I hear the door bell, smashing plates and relaxing music.
Maybe I taste an apple juice, milk and a sour taste of depression.
I can smell a lemon, lavender and death.
I feel stressed, hopeful and detained.
The public doesn’t know about immigration detention
Being in lockdown is like days in detention
Now we know it we can’t ignore it any more
This panic is produced by the virus, death rates and immigration officers.
This virus doesn’t discriminate against migrant or black or white skin.
This virus is a sad story and it deals with us equally.
This poem is part of the ‘JRS Imagines’ anthology, for Refugee Week. You can read more from the collection here: https://www.jrsuk.net/blogcategories/refugee-week/
If you were not able to be part of Refugee Week we can still hold in our prayer and in our diaries:
The World Day of Migrants and Refugees
Sept 27, 2020.
The Theme: Like Jesus Christ forced to flee:
Welcoming, protecting, promoting and integrating internally displaced persons.