It all started on a cold winter day;
as I sat together with my church family in a restaurant planning a spiritual retreat. All at the table were involved to some degree; or so it seem to me. I had started to believe that heaven was pleased, but maybe it was just me!
I started the plans laying out an agenda for a Spring Retreat to the beach; with way too much glee, or so it seems.
Then it happened, in my way of thinking, self-interest, in days to follow pursued. No, from the giver came ringing through. NO! NO! NO! To some of the family relief ensued. For now the varied plans of one’s heart were all able to be put right through.
Irritant as a rash, and shocked as a fall, blood, tears, sweat and pain, for yes, I had been a part of knocking Our Lord to the ground, once again.
O God, I surely needed a good Samaritan. I, like you, had been set upon by thieves. The church passed us by on their way to vacation, family and friends. Maybe they needed to get to their churches to expound on compassion and mercy from within the walls of their compound.
But, I looked up through my blood stained face and saw a good ‘Samaritan’ mopping my face. Yes, mopping our face, Lord, our pain.
How often we are robbed and left to die? It seems like so much pain freezes the brain.
But, when the hand of mercy is extended by another, all senses of our being begin to unlock, like a lock set free. You, O! Lord once again were left to die, without a helping hand to carry your cross. Then one gentle hand reaches out and carries your cross. What was their name? Simon of Cyrene, I believe are all their names.
“Crucify them, crucify them,” I heard them calling. “Nail them away so they will not take my haul.” They were only speaking of Jesus and me.
Yes, Lord, the cross is daily there for me to haul. Nothing of value can be seen in an old wooden cross. For eye cannot see and ear cannot hear the call. “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”
So, I alone, am left lonely on a road reaching out daily for ‘my cross’ and trying to carry it at all cost. Jesus, your exemplary character says, it’s all right to ask for help with the burden of my cross. I saw even you, Lord, stumble and fall under the burden of your cross.
Passage Matthew 10:38:
“Anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”