During Lent, you can see an exhibition at St Margaret’s Church, near Westminster Abbey, of paintings by Adam Boulter and poems by Malcolm Guite representing a series of meditations on key turning points in Biblical and Church wilderness experience. The sketch, top, called Contemporary Christian Refugees was created after Adam, an Anglican priest currently working in Jordan, visited a UNHCR refugee camp. Malcolm’s poem, which draws both on scripture and the sketch, is below (reproduced with permission). The paintings for the exhibition were completed by Adam based on both the initial sketches and the poems. You can hear Malcolm read the poem and also find out about the inspiration behind Contemporary Christian Refugees, and the whole series behind the exhibition, on Malcolm’s blog – In the Wilderness 7: Christ amongst the refugees. The series starts at In the Wilderness: 1 Abraham and Sarah at Mamre. The paintings in the exhibition are featured on Adam’s website together with Malcolm’s poems.
Christ amongst the refugees
That fearful road of weariness and want,
Through unforgiving heat and hate, ends here;
We narrow sand-blown eyes to scan this scant
And tented city outside Syria.
He fled with us when everything was wrecked
As Nazarene was blazoned on our door,
Walked with the damaged and the derelict
To where these tents are ranked and massed, foursquare
Against the desert, with a different blazon;
We trace the letters: UNHCR,
As dark smoke looms behind a cruel horizon.
Christ stands with us and withstands, where we are,
His high commission, as a refugee;
To pitch his tent in our humanity.