The burden was too much for Jesus to bear. Unable to take another step with it, He collapsed.
Merciless scourging had made His back a bloody pulp. Thorns, twisted into a wreath, stabbed His scalp like pins in a pin cushion. Blood oozed into eyes that had had to stay awake all night long through six trials of trumped-up charges.
Whether it was because they pitied Jesus or because they wanted to keep pace with their crucifixion orders, soldiers grabbed hold of a bystander. They put the heavy cross on Simon of Cyrene “and made him carry it behind Jesus” (Luke 23:26 NIV).
Even Jesus had a breaking point where He could not take it anymore. So, when we reach that place and need help to continue on, why should we be ashamed?
In commenting on my previous post, “The All-Weather Friend,” Carolyn revealed that she learned from classmates after she was grown they had similar stories to mine. She regrets not knowing their secret earlier so that she could have been of support at the time.
Her regret reminded me of André Auw’s poem “Out of Order,” which tells of a little boy wanting to cry because he couldn’t get the popcorn machine to release the popcorn it held. He didn’t understand that his desire and his money were not enough to make the broken machine work. The poem then concludes:
And Lord, I too felt like weeping, weeping for
people who have become locked in,
jammed, broken machines filled with
goodness that other people need and
want and yet will never come to enjoy,
because somehow, somewhere,
something has gone wrong inside.
Many lives cloister wounded feelings, bruising as easily as magnolia petals. We do not always recognize these mangled souls. We may meet them only briefly. In a crowded store. At the gas pump. During a “move on” business call.
A patient word, a thumbs-up gesture, a simple thank you to these nameless victims may be enough salve for them to make it through another day. And what’s the price? A passing moment of stepping outside ourselves.
But what about the life who is harboring undeserved hurts? You do not have to pass them on. You have the power to break the cycle. You can help others not to be out of order too!