Your Cyrenian

Take up your cross —
words which echo into
each and every generation —
and follow me.
How does he take up his cross?
Not alone, not even in the weight.
For there was a man named Simon,
a Cyrenian, far from home.
He did not choose, but was chosen
(isn’t that how it always is?)
and thus himself took up
not his own cross, but
The Cross, upon his back.
The Cyrenian could not say no,
but if he knew, could he want to?
Heavy beams, splinters, whips, tears,
yet, yet, yet. Bear one another’s burdens.
His children are known to us today,
Rufus and Alexander bearing their share,
born first of his wife then of
he whose way of death he bore
on the way to his death.
Simon walked back alive,
lived to see life die and death follow after,
lived to see new life, born from
the weight he bore upon his shoulders,
chosen but did not choose.
That weight is his, but the next cross,
the cross after that, and each taken up,
has a weight that two or three,
gathered together, can bear.
Take up your cross, for it is yours,
but let another bear the burden too,
for it is theirs, his peace
that sets you free.

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