Thrust into the Story


“As they led [Jesus] 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 behind Jesus.” -Luke 23:26

Sometimes you just want to be a bystander; someone just passing by. All you want to do is mind your own business and stay out of people’s way. Keep your nose clean—enjoy a little peace. Is that really too much to ask?

Then, without asking for it, along comes life: Your peace is disturbed, your hands get dirty, and you’re thrust into something you didn’t ask for or want to be a part of.  None of us wanted to be a part of a pandemic, yet here we are. We have been thrust into a story we didn’t want told and don’t know the ending.

Simon of Cyrene can relate. He was yanked out of the crowd and forced to carry Jesus’ cross. Who knows, maybe he was just on his way home from work or picking up something from the grocery store. More than likely, he had other things to do that day than get pulled into the story of Jesus’ crucifixion. His agenda was interrupted with hard, bloody, humiliating work. And because of that, he became part of the greatest story ever told. The Saint of the Passerby.

We might want to be nothing more than a bystander in life but then Life comes along and interrupts our agendas. And that Life is a man named Jesus who washes dirty feet and hangs out with undesirables—and asks us to do the same. And that Life gave up his life for our sake. Jesus could have remained a bystander, but he entered our story and nothing has been the same since. His agenda was the hard, bloody, humiliating work of salvation. And his is the greatest story ever told.

Being Human connection: Today is Good Friday, when it seems the plot of the story is that Life has been defeated, but stay tuned. There is so much more to come.

Featured art: Titian (Tiziano Vecellio), “Christ on the Way to Calvary,” 1565.