Simon says

I was at a small midweek church service and the time came for people to offer prayers for various needs.

A lady kneeling near me whispered “Joey.” In a microscopic dot of time, my mind said, “Oh that’s our son’s name but she must mean someone else.”

But she continued her whispered prayers, and I realized that she was praying for a list of special needs children and adults in our church. The Joey was ours, after all.

When Jesus was staggering under the weight of the cross, his execution squad

…compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. (Mark 15:21)

I’ve come to call people who take some of the weight of care giving off of my shoulders “my Simons of Cyrene.” They don’t remove the burden altogether – that’s not a realistic expectation. But they make it lighter for part of the way.

Over the years, some have helped with encouragement and comfort, others with practical stuff like watching Joey to give Melissa and me a break, and others have been generous with money or other resources that eased our burden.

The lady in church certainly eased it by her prayer. More than that, overhearing her whispers stays with me on the path. When the going gets heavy, it restores me to know that there’s a person lifting Joey’s needs – to which our hearts are nailed – up into the hands of God.

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