Monday, March 16, 2015

Simon Carries Jesus' Cross - Station 5

This photograph was taken from an art work in a church in Bolivia.
photo by PJ Furlong06  / flickr

"As they led him away, they laid hold of one Simon the Cyrenean who was coming in from the fields. They put a crossbeam on Simon's shoulder for him to carry along behind Jesus."
       --Luke 23.26

We move on, we pilgrims. Station Five,” someone whispers. We know that Jesus fell under the weight of the cross. He met his mother in the hardest place she or he had ever  been. The Priest stops. “Look up,” he says. “Simon helps Jesus carry his cross.”

Anybody helped you carry your cross?
Maybe a Mother.
Maybe a friend.
Maybe a partner in marriage.
Maybe even a child.
But somebody or several some bodies came forward
  and helped you lift whatever it was.

I’d preached with some success for years.
I’d stumbled but never really failed.
And then the bottom dropped out.
My poor wife reached out in desperation and
  tried to comfort.
 I wasn’t listening.
And one night there was a knock at the door.
“Can I come in?” he said.
He was friend. He was a church member.
  But he was mostly a friend.
“I know you are having a hard time
   and I want to help.”
“What do you want to do—stay or leave—
  I can help either way.”
 My wife said, “I want him to leave—
  if he stays here he will die.”
I simply nodded.
He said, “OK—if you want to leave
  You’ll need a good severance.”
And he ticked off, as good businessmen would
  a long list of needs.
“I’m going to task the church to do this
  for you.”
And then he said: “If the church won’t do this—
  I’ll pay the severance out of my pocket.”
But he wasn’t finished.
“I will do this because I believe in you...”
I needed that word of grace.
It got me through.
I think you know his name.

Looking up at Simon helping Jesus bear his cross—This is what I remembered.

photo by Suede Bicycle / flickr  

                                            --Roger Lovette

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