They compelled a passer-by,
who was coming in from the country,
to carry his cross;
it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.
Hey, you. You. Take this.
Deny yourself, take up your cross.
Bear the crushing weight of shame.
You did not choose me; I chose you.
Feel the splintering pain, the rough edge, his blood on you.
Come to me, you who are weary.
Shoulder to shoulder, hear him breathing.
Take my yoke upon you.
Torn open, he looks at you with those healing eyes.
I will give you rest.
Your pain swallowed in his, the world’s.
My yoke is easy; my burden is light.
Common struggle, boundless. Who helps whom?
No one has greater love than this…
Where else could you be so near, so entwined?
I am the vine; you are the branches.
What gift, this suffering, so close, so one.
Lo, I am with you always.
This blessing is unto death.
When I am lifted up I will draw all to me.
March 31, 2021