Friday, April 18, 2014

Simon of Cyrene

Simon of Cyrene carries the cross, 
photo by Damian Gadal, from Flickr

“As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.”   Luke 23:26

Simon of Cyrene

Barely carrying the weight of me,
In from the country and into the city,
I watched from the periphery,
Around noon on that day of doom.
Crosses were carried in the street.
The crowds cried aloud and chanted.
He fell at my feet.
From the weathered road His eyes met mine.
His compassion intertwined
With those who were to blame,
With my own guilt and shame,
And then, they called my name.
“You there! Pick up that cross.
It’s yours to bear.” I cannot stand,
Not under this weight of this command,
Nor take up this cross from His hand.
No burden this great had ever been born in Cyrene.
Never such a cruelty forlorn—never a thing so mean
—Never a thing this obscene.
The weight was lifted onto my shoulders,
And I too was mocked by the crowd and soldiers.
I was ashamed and He seemed to grow bolder.
He charged forward under great weight,
As if to carry the world—This I did not anticipate—
Me hunched over, as He stood straight.
His eyes set on that cruel Hill as time stood still.
He swayed gently at the fatigue and brutality.
Me with the tree and His face set on eternity.
Together we charged the hill with determination.
He would bring about the world’s salvation.
My task was but a gesture to appease Roman appeal,
But His burden and sacrifice was real. It would heal.

© April 17, 2014, Robbie Pruitt

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