When Imagination Falls Short and Deep Call unto Justice


When Imagination Falls Short and Deep Call unto Justice

By Carlos Chuquihuara SJ

15 June 2020

When Imagination Falls Short and Deep Call unto Justice

“Could you imagine?”, people often say.

A playful irony that implies impossibility,

blocks the passage of probability,

drowns all chances with suspicion,

narrows the gateway of likelihood,

and closes the border of probability.


As a migrant, I had to leave my motherland,

and I did know my new destination.

As a pilgrim, I have walked long distances,

and I did know that I will find shelter.

As a son, I have said goodbye to my loved ones,

and I did know that I will see them again.


“Could I really imagine?”, I asked myself:

the bitter flavour of a final send-off,

the vastness of a blood-thirsty ocean,

the inability to express what I feel,

the impossibility to defend myself,

and the perennial wait for a better future.


No, I cannot really imagine… Instead, I see:

the hopeful heart of a known one,

the humble soul open to novelty,

the iron-resilience of a human spirit,

the smile of an unexpected friend,

and the just plight of my new sibling.



No! I don’t want to imagine; I want to see:

the shattering of the cycle of despair,

the revival of dreams and aspirations,

the embrace of the no-longer stranger,

the restoration of a justice and peace,

and the opening of the gates of hope.


“Could you imagine?”, people often say.

When I think of my refugee siblings;

I don’t want to imagine and ‘thou art in heaven’;

I want ‘Your Kingdom to come’ promptly,

so that their realities are transformed;

and unity in diversity becomes our song.


Could you imagine….?


Carlos Chuquihuara SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic living in the Jesuit Laudato Si’ Community in Clapham, SW4. He is part of the Jesuit Young Adult Ministries Team. The Jesuit community in Clapham are volunteer hosts in the JRS ‘At Home’ scheme. Through this scheme they regularly welcome destitute refugee friends in need of accommodation in to their living space, on a short term basis.

This poem is part of the ‘JRS Imagines’ anthology, for Refugee Week. You can read more from the collection here.

Find out more about what’s happening at JRS UK during Refugee Week

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Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310

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