Sunday, April 15, 2012

Can I Bear His Cross?

One of my best friends wrote a very beautiful musical fireside presentation that was performed tonight.  It was about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, told from the point of view of some of the "supporting characters" from the Gospels. People like Mary of Bethany, the Roman centurion who understood Jesus' divinity, Joseph of Arimithea, and Pontius Pilate each had a story to tell through beautiful music.

One song absolutely cut me to my core. Simon the Cyrenian, a passerby during Jesus' burdensome walk to Calvary, was compelled to carry the cross for Jesus by the Romans. My friend told his story through the most beautiful song I've heard in a long time.

Can I Bear His Cross?
Lauren Woodbury

I was only passing through, unaware of the reason for the throng,
But something in me knew as I walked along.
And then I saw the man, bruised, wearied and tried
And I didn't understand why he was to be crucified.

Suddenly they pulled me from the crowd and laid his cross on me.
I was compelled to follow this Jesus on the road to Calvary.

And as I struggled to stand, I wondered,

Can I bear His cross? Can I ease His pain?
If my will were lost, what would be the cost and would He complain?
And when this burden has passed, who will keep the stain?
Can I bear His cross? Can I ease His pain?

I was only halfway there, stumbling under the weight of my load,
Following his footsteps with care as we walked up the road.
And then I saw the place. Gratefully I fell to the ground,
Looked up and saw His face, and in His eyes I found

The anguish of a thousand souls was deeply written
In expressions of determined love and mercy never hidden.

And as I looked on this man, I wondered,

Did I bear His cross? Did I ease His pain?
If my will were lost, what would be the cost and would He have complained?
And now this burden has passed and He keeps the stain.
Did I bear His cross? Did I ease His pain?

Then they seized Him, He was cruelly driven
To that dark hill where His fate was set,
And they raised Him as He raised His voice to Heaven
With pleading words that I will never forget.

For if we're only passing through, unaware of His suffering that day,
We won't know the pain He knew and we won't hear Him say,

I will bear your cross. I will ease your pain.
When your will is lost, I will pay the cost, and I won't complain.
And when your burden has passed, I will keep the stain.
I will bear your cross, I will ease your pain.

Even if no one ever reads those lyrics all the way through, I am glad I wrote them here. I am glad that in writing them, I relived the moment in which Simon of Cyrene sang the last verse. 

My cross, while something that I know I can manage with the Lord's help, has been feeling heavy lately. I'm struggling with some pretty intense loneliness and a case of unrequited love from both the girl I think could be the one and the straight best friend that I just can't help being attracted to. On top of that, my beloved and underinsured car was stolen just a few days after I spent 12 hours and 1000 dollars fixing it and I've been having trouble signing up for classes, finding a ride back to school, and getting housing that's close enough for a recently-carless individual.  I don't mention these things to complain (much), but instead to show how much relief I felt at hearing this song tonight.

Jesus is bearing my cross right now. He knows how much I love my best friend and He knows how hard I want to make it work with a woman.  He knows that getting on a mission is hard and that I'm trying, but failing occasionally. He knows about my collegiate stress and my unfortunate loss of a car I patiently and lovingly restored. He knows my money woes (of which I have little and shouldn't even complain about). He knows how nervous I am to uproot myself yet again and move to a new city, leaving behind family and friends, some of whom I'll likely never see again in this life.  

Christ has taken all of that and willingly put it upon His shoulders.  His Atonement and grace are sufficient to bear me up, even when the trials seem too difficult to bear. He's leading me until I stumble and can go no further, and then He's picking up the cross from off of my back and carrying it the rest of the way.

This Simon the Cyrenian was right. Jesus' burden wasn't the cross, it was the knowledge of each of our pains, sicknesses, sins, and sorrows. And that burden which He willingly bore so long ago is what now enables Him to lift us up and bear us home when we feel like we can take no more.

I have such a strong testimony of that and I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have that, by trusting in Jesus Christ's grace, everything will work out alright.

I'm filled with emotions tonight, some happy, some sad, and some bittersweet, but this life is good.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post. And I love the verses you texted.

    ReplyDelete

Be nice, mmmmkay? I allow anonymous comments, but not anonymous (or even attributed) douchebaggery. The Gay Mormon Pioneer's tolerance for hate and venom are incredibly low, but his love of communication and debate are high, so have an opinion, but be kind and gentle when you share it.

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