On September 9, 2020 the largest migrant camp in Europe, Camp Moira on the Greek Island of Lesbos, was destroyed by fire. The camp was designed to hold 2,200 people, but it was estimated to have held about 13,000 people. On September 12, having barely escaped the fire with their lives, having lost what little they had, with nowhere to live, and with no way off the island, some of the migrants began to protest. Police responded with tear gas. It was a catastrophe within a catastrophe within a catastrophe—something like a third fall, I guess.
This photograph was taken by Angelos Tzortzinis for the AFP. We see a young migrant boy, stressed out and afraid, reacting to the sound of the tear gas canisters being fired. His right foot is squeezed in tension. Drool runs from his mouth. He holds his head and screams and weeps his terror and his devastation.
There are pictures in the Stations of the Cross this year that are harder to look at, but this one is the hardest for me to look away from. This boy has been pushed down, and I want to pick him up. I just want to pick him up.
Let us pray:
Jesus, you who were a refugee child, have mercy on those with no homes, no country, and no way forward. Amen.
Jesus the Imagination
Thoughts and dreams, musings and meditations