The Fifth Station: Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus carry his cross

Nothing prepared Simon for how his day fell out.

Thus, chance trips us up.
One moment we drift within the predictable,
confined by circumstances of our own determining.
Sitting within the light thrown by a single candle,
we are oblivious to the shadows massing behind us
until we’re spun about
to face the enormity of our situation.

Simon will never again be comfortable.
He has been touched by too much to ever again rest easily.

God knows, there are millions like him
who have rubbed against suffering so sharp
it scars their surviving.
Yet survive they do.

Simon carries regret:
The shame of the by-stander.
He carries rage
because he lacked the courage to step up before he was pressed.
And, despite the way others will fête him,
he despises himself
for those small, intrusive thoughts which dulled his service.
(I shall be late home;
I am not dressed for this;
What if I am seen in this train of malefactors?)
Even at that point,
When confronted by his God,
He is aware, primarily, of the nuisance of it all.

How ordinary!
How blessed,
that even from petty preoccupations
we may be jolted,
thrust beneath the cross
and left to live,
to tell another day.

Stations of the Cross