Walking on by..

Walking on by..

15 September 2016 by Andy Burns in Refugee & Asylum.

Like so many of us, I commute into London and as a veteran of 1 1/2 years I know my train seat - the seat that lines me up with the correct door onto the platform exit on Vauxhall Station. Once I step off the train the headphones are on, ticket in hand and the 7 min walk over Vauxhall Bridge (just like an Athlete) is visualised and purposefully strode ahead.

Today was no different to another day, locked into my own personal space I speed matched past slower commuters whose heads are pulled down by the tractor beam from their iPhones. That was until the bright orange glow of life jackets laid out on the Thames Embankment caught my eye.

The organisation Action Aid had created a provocative installation on the beach area to highlight to a busy London, that we’re speed matching passed the life and death reality of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants.

The installation draws parallels with the Christ’s parable of The Good Samaritan. Where two religious people speed match pass as they have better things to do, or feel afraid to engage. What I personally became aware of was that it took me half the bridge of internal dialogue before I turned on my heals and walked down to engage - I had to fight the inner battle that I was too busy.

This leaves me with just one reflection: How much have I or we become complacent to the needs of our neighbour? We see it so much that we start not to see it or we seek not to inquire in case then we have to engage.

A good friend of mine constantly encourages ‘purpose driven me’ to notice more, to look and to see. For if we’re too busy to notice our neighbour and therefore not loving them, then maybe we’re too busy.

If you’d like to know how you and your parish can engage and not walk by our refugee and migrant neighbours then please do get in contact with Angela Afzal and/or check out these pages

Andy Burns

Andy Burns

Andy Burns is Executive Director of Capital Mass.

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