(SET: A WOODEN CROSS TO BE CARRIED IN AND TWO ROBES APPROPRIATE FOR THE TIME PERIOD. ONE TO WEAR IN WHILE CARRYING THE CROSS, THE OTHER TO WEAR FOR THE MONOLOGUE)
(WALKS INTO THE CONGREGATION SLOWLY. EACH STEP PAINFUL AS HE CARRIES A HEAVY WOODEN CROSS. STAGGERING AROUND THE ROOM HE WALKS FROM THE BACK TO THE FRONT AND BACK OUT THE BACK. THEN IN ANOTHER TUNIC SIMON WALKS BACK IN STUDYING HIS HANDS, LOOKING AT HIS FEET, RUBBING HIS SHOULDERS. AT THE FRONT OF THE CONGREGATION HE STANDS FACING THE CONGREGATION. HE PERCHES ON THE EDGE OF THE STAGE. EITHER RESTING HIS FOOT ON A STEP OR LIGHTLY SITTING ON THE EDGE OF THE ALTER.)
The blood, tears, strength, and undeniable love of this special man are what I remember. He didnít look scared, sad maybe, but honestly he seemed set in his way. He begged for mercy from no one. I heard soft words leaving his lips, but not until I touched the cross did I realize he was talking to his father, my father, the worldís creator.
The blood trickled onto my skin, as I felt the weight of the cross bite into my back. But as tears stung my eyes, as I felt the spirit of love and grace, hope fills my soul and I realized for the first time that Godís love was entering me. I may have stumbled down that long narrow street, being berated by that angry mob; I may have felt the sting of the horrible whip, but it was nothing compared to what he was going through. As I stumbled and swayed carrying this cross, I know for certain that it was also my saving grace.
(SIMON GETS UP AND WALKS AROUND THE ROOM. TOUCHING ONE MEMBER OF CONGREGATION ON THE SHOULDER, BENDING DOWN AND TALKING TO ANOTHER LIKE A FRIEND)
As I looked into the eyes of the man beside me, my heart leaped with joy and broke with sadness. I knew then that I was going to live. I was going to walk away from this place back to my life, my family, my career. I knew I would never live the same type of life that I had lived for he changed me. But because of him I was going to live. I was determined to appreciate my wife more, to laugh longer with my children and to cherish each moment in ways that I never had before. I have become a faithful servant of God because of that man. But sadness rips me in two when I realize that I had to say goodbye to this man who had eyes like daggers that pierced through my soul bleeding out the inferiority that was inside me and cleansing me for his purpose. His eyes were my light to strength, his stumbling and swaying, our steps together marching down that dirt lane, kicking that dust up in the hot sun was my strong step forward toward a greater life, a better life. It was also his path, fulfilling our fatherís promise of righteousness
His cross was huge, handmade and sharp with splintering wood. Those tiny wood chips bit into my flesh burying themselves deep into my skin. My wife spent hours pulling each piece of wood from my back, but that agonizing pain was nothing for what he did for me.
(BY THIS TIME HE STARTS HEADING BACK UP TO THE FRONT OF THE CHURCH STILL OCCASIONALY TALKING TO SOMEONE IN THE CONGREGATION)
He gave me, without words, a place to shoot for. He loved me like a brother, but he didnít know my name, or did he? Thinking back it almost feels like maybe he knew me better then I knew myself. Thinking back now, I wonder if he had heard of me, felt sorry for me, and helped free my heart from Satanís grasp. I know for a fact that this man, this one man, who suffered because of hatred and fear loved all of us like a father loves a son or daughter. I know now that I want to walk in faith like I have never walked before.
My name is Simon and I carried the blood of our savior on my back. I carried your burdens and my own for a few steps down a dusty lane toward a hill that bore the life of our savior Jesus Christ from us. I heard the anger and the tears, and I changed. I changed because his blood was on me and he washed the evil away. Without that I would still be full of hatred.
Godís son died for me and he died for you. I have no intention of letting my walk down that dusty road go unforgotten. I will always remember how my unclean, unrighteous soul became whole again for the first time in my life. I began by giving up my search for the best and accepting the acceptable. Jesus didnít want riches. He wanted works.
(AT THE FRONT OF THE CONGREGATION ONCE MORE HE SITS AND TURNS TOWARDS THEM.)
What works will you claim for him? What love will you give him? Or will you let your own heart grow quiet and your own hands fall silent? Will Jesus spirit fall dead inside you? What have you done, not for praise given by others but for Jesus, for God? For me I intend to harvest all the fruit I can and invest it into the Kingdom of the man who stumbled and bled for me. His blood is still fresh on my skin, his cross so much lighter then my own.
PLEASE ENCOURAGE AUTHOR,
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