The Refugee

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doorhandleThe first in a series of poems from URC minister and poet Lucy Berry.

The Refugee

I looked outside this morning.
It gave me quite a shock
to see a face I couldn’t place
stand at my door and knock.

I don’t go much on strangers.
I’m quite reserved you see.
I like my life, my town, my home
just as they used to be.

I’ve called myself a Christian,
I've led my life with prayer.
I didn’t know this would sneak up so
and catch me unaware;

I didn’t expect this person
un-fed, un-clothed and poor
to limp their way and wait all day
outside my shut front door.

I do not want to open.
I do not want to share.
I’m well aware of a room that’s spare
and I do not want him there.

This is my time of trial.
This is my horrid test.
This is my time for denial –
or loving Jesus best.

I peeped outside at lunchtime,
at times throughout the day
and just before I went to bed.
He hasn’t gone away.

© Lucy Berry

This is not a metaphoric or symbolic poem.

It has nothing whatever to do with opening one's heart or spiritual enlightenment, it is about practical faith: Do we have a room spare for an asylum seeker and, if so, what are the faith-implications of keeping it empty?"

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