One of the most touching moments to me in the movie The Passion of the Christ is when Simon of Cyrene is forced into helping our Lord carry His cross. The part where they lock arms under and around the cross gets me every time. And we do that for each other you know; every time we step in and help each other carry a cross we are being a Simon of Cyrene for today. So how do we do this? How do we step in and help someone carry their cross? How do we lock arms under and around the weight of the cross with and for someone?
If you’re reading this right before Lent, I invite you to join our community of women as we journey through Lent together. You can read more about our Lent Devotional for Women here.
Being a Simon of Cyrene for Today
First, what is our cross? It’s our life. There are moments of intense joy in this life…there are also moments of what may seem to be excruciatingly lows. Our crosses in this life consist of times of suffering (physical, mental, emotional or spiritual), times of waiting, times of pouring ourselves out for others, times of acceptance, and times where no real feeling seems to present itself–times of desolation.
And how often do we struggle under the weight of these crosses alone? How often do we push through whether out of fear, sense of duty, pride, stubbornness or a false sense of humility? Let me ask this. How often do we look to our Lord for the example in this life? Remember the whole “WWJD” movement? What would Jesus do? What did Jesus do when presented with the cross? He accepted help. Today, let’s put our fear, pride, duty and stubbornness aside and figure, “If it’s good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me.” Today, let’s either offer to help someone carry their cross or…and maybe even harder for some…accept someone’s help in carrying our own cross.
Now to look at this from the point of being a Simon of Cyrene for today. Each one of us knows someone hurting today. Each one of us knows someone struggling today. Today is the day to step in and lock arms with that someone. Jesus didn’t ask for the help and Simon didn’t volunteer. We most likely know someone struggling to carry a cross but they will not ask for help. The guards pushed Simon into helping our Lord for fear of Jesus dying before they could inflict their final cruelty. I am telling you to step in today before the enemy tries to inflict his final cruelty. Your friend, family member, coworker, neighbor, husband or child may not ask you for help…step in. Be someone’s Simon of Cyrene today.
If you are running to pick up a pizza on your way home from work tonight, ask yourself, is there someone I can bless with a pizza? Yes, I am not even kidding! I am not asking you to lock arms with a bloody, beaten, almost to the point of death Man…I am asking you to buy one extra $6 pizza to bless someone with…a new mom, a homebound neighbor, a single mom, a family hanging on by their very last thread…
When you grocery shop this weekend, who can you lock arms with and help them carry their cross, if only for a short time? Could your teen use a little sweet treat to say “I love who you are and I appreciate you.” Would your husband appreciate a package of mushrooms to put on top of his burger this weekend, even though you hate mushrooms? Would your elderly neighbor enjoy a small bouquet of flowers sitting next to their favorite chair? How about a coloring book for your toddler? And more importantly, time spent at the table coloring in the book with your toddler.
Now, how about some prayer support? Who do you know could use some prayers? Other than EVERYONE. Who do you know could use some prayers and benefit from knowing you were praying for them? How about a text, phone call, message left on voice mail, email, Facebook message or handwritten note saying, “I’m praying for you today.” How about a hand on the shoulder or that look of compassion for your fellow soccer mom, baseball mom, gymnastics mom, co-worker, neighbor, husband, priest, frazzled mom at church or grocery store checker? Let them know, I am locking arms with you today to help you carry this cross.
Being a Simon of Cyrene for today may be easier than you think.