As they led him away,
           they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene,
           who was coming from the country,
           and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it.
                           —Luke 23.26

It was your pain first before it was mine.
All this life I have borne, all the shame and fear, yours.
I have only come late to your journey.

Fear of powerful men is a rope around my heart.
I enter the agony of the condemned only when forced to.
This is my torture: to assist you is to assist in your death.

You have taken on the pain of the world
as your own, even mine, before it was mine.
There is nothing that hurts that does not hurt you.

Bearing the weight, I walk with you, shoulder to shoulder,
your breath in mine, your blood. Your pain.
You thank me. You encourage. You bless. You raise me.

You bear the weight, not I. Yours the love. Yours the strength.
Burdened, I am lifted. Wounded, I am healed.
This is my treasure: to be with you in your pain is to be with you.

“Come to me, you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens,
take my yoke upon you. I will give you rest;
for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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