Simon of Cyrene As Seen Today

Simon of Cyrene is one of my favorite people seen during Holy Week. I find Simon to be a simple man of faith. I believe when Simon came into Jerusalem, he was shocked and appalled by the events he came upon… Jesus on his walk to Calvary. I believe Simon was forced to help carry the cross of Jesus. It is not something he delighted in or volunteered to take part in it.  I want to have faith like Simon when I am put to the test. I find hope in Simon. I believe Simon tried to have hope, somehow this would all work itself out. How could people behave in this manner? When Simon realized there would be no change, he stood firm and determined to help Jesus to the very end. I pray for hope when I am put to the test. I find courage in Simon. I think Simon was scared, terrified of what was about to happen to this man he’d never met and even possibly to himself. Simon continued on and maybe even encouraged Jesus, letting him know he was there to help him in any way he could. To trust that this is where God wanted him at that moment in time. I want to have courage when times get hard. I want to trust Jesus is journeying alongside me when I am put to the test. The other day I was at a local nursing home with a ministry of The Word and Holy Communion Service. The last couple of years has proved to be very difficult with COVID. The simple use of masks when many residents are hard of hearing and are used to reading lips as they listen to you speak. The moving of rooms/locations because of the closing of wings due to a shortage of staff and the list goes on and on. Every time I go there are new rules or practices in place. I think of the residents and staff who live there or come to work every day, 365/24/7. Oh my, but my life is easy. I am taught a lesson every time I am in the presence of the residents at the care facilities. The last I went it was “Bill” who taught me my lesson. He was my Simon. Since Bill suffered a fall on the ice he’s a resident in the memory care wing. He patiently sat waiting for my arrival. He enjoys the music and sings along. Sometimes, Bill is the only one who will respond to the expected congregational responses. I can count on Bill. We finished the service and one of the ladies was celebrating her birthday. I asked her, her favorite ice cream. You could see the wheels turning as she tried to put her thoughts into words. I asked her, “Vanilla, strawberry, mint, oh, I know chocolate? She nodded, “Yes, I like chocolate.” I said, “Well, then I hope the kitchen has chocolate ice cream for lunch today.” She said, “I’ll have enough to eat no matter what kind of ice cream we have.” Then in the quiet, simple, faithfulness of Bill, he said, “Well, we’ve just been nourished with the bread of everlasting life. We should be okay with whatever we have for lunch.” The Wisdom of Solomon was non wiser. Today, it was Bill who was my Simon who taught me faith, hope, and courage.

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