Today, the world will be filled with unseen heroes who will give aid in someone else’s time of need. History will never record their names or the deeds what they accomplished. I just watched on TV as some bystanders on a train stopped a terrorist right as he was preparing to unleash pandemonium. Our world has moments of unseen bravery on a daily basis. People who seem to happen upon an imposing accident, tragedy, or misstep, only to intervene and save the day. Author Brodi Ashton says in her novel Everneath, “Heroes are made by the paths they choose, not the powers they are graced with.” In Scripture, several unsung helpers that rarely gets recognized is Simon of Cyrene. The day that Jesus Christ was to carry His cross through the city streets to a blood-soaked hill, Simon was there to assist.
Why was Simon in town that day? Wrong place at the wrong time? Unforeseen moment for sure, but not to God. Simon had no clue what moment his life would make history. Isn’t it amazing that, while we woke up this morning with the most normal of intentions for our day, this could be the day for which our life’s history will be recorded by others! That moment in time that we assisted someone in need. Once we step into the way of the cross, as Simon, we find that our lives are changed forever.
One cannot help another carry a cross without being changed themselves.
This was Simon’s baptism of fire. When he was grabbed out of the crowd, He was transformed from a spectator to an active participant in the passion of the Christ. Whether he resisted or not is no longer the point. When we are a part of a large crowd, we can remain anonymous. But, when we take the step, or get pushed-out of the crowd, we stand in the spotlight of someone else’s suffering. Sharing in another’s passion holds the promise of transformation. Simon of Cyrene became aware of what we know when we personally suffer, that Christ is present in our suffering. God knows what we go through. And now, Simon knows also.
When is the last time you and I stepped out of the crowd of bystanders and into the story of another who is in need? When we are motivated by love, barriers melt away by the heat of our courage to kneel down at the spot of another’s fallen spot. We will do anything for love and concern of the one who is about to die or who is hurting. That is Christianity in action, and it is those moments in time that bring transformation in ways that only heaven knows.