The story is so familiar, walking along the busy road, crowds of people, shouting, shoving, pushing. There walks Jesus. But He can’t manage it himself. Imagine that, the Creator, the Word at the beginning, the Almighty, the one who said He is the Son of God and He can’t manage it alone.
Without in ANY WAY wanting to imagine that I have ever been in a situation anything like Jesus was experiencing, there are times when I have felt overwhelmed. It feels for a long time as though I’ve been stumbling along, the weight getting heavier, the loads adding with every step. Crowds shouting with opinions, jeers, what I can’t do, be or achieve, shoving at me to do this, do that, pushing me into being who I don’t want to be.
I’m stubborn though, independent, self-confident and so just keep going but feeling like I’m not sure if the next time I will be able to stand up for one more time.
As I look at this image of Jesus, needing someone else I see the power of those people around who will walk behind, who will help carry the load and to walk onwards. The ones who do believe in who I am and what I can do. The ones who care about who I am. Deity in one more example for me of humility – allowing a person to help Him carry out the act of redemption.
Luke tells us Simon was ‘compelled’ which the Persian and literal translation means “pressed into service of a king”. A man from Libya, an immigrant, chosen to serve the King. Was it an honour? Was it humiliation? Was it God’s greatest unspoken message of allowing other people to be part of our journey, our story, to surrender ourselves and pride.
(image: Sieger Koder (1925-2015) German priest and painter, Simone di Cirene)