Station 5 – Reflection Series “Stations of the Cross”

Station 5 – Simon of Cyrene Helps Jesus to Carry His Cross – Mark 15:21

5 StationSeeing that even Jesus needed his brother in flesh to help carry the heavy, awkward cross reminds me of when I felt the pull between anger and finding forgiveness in the time of my father’s death. It was cruel and unfair to a man who served his brothers and sisters and honored our God. He was killed in a painful way and suffered greatly at the expense of another person’s ill choices and actions. I wanted to feel anger at the unknown person responsible. I knew that both my earthly and heavenly Fathers would want me to forgive and find the goodness I was blessed with.

Being angry took no effort, but to forgive and release the darkness that filled my heart took an enormous amount of discipline. So, I prayed. I sat still. I watched a sunset at my father’s gravesite. I hugged others a little tighter and imagined I was taking a little of their love to fill my dark anger and I went to my happy place, the beach. I soaked in the feeling of being so small in the vast ocean lit by nothing but the moonlight and glorious stars that I imagined were my ancestors from years past. I dug my feet in the cool sand and breathed the salty air. Here my tears tasted the same running down my face as the ocean water that splashed on my face. God’s presence has always been in nature for me and I found it again.

I forgave and I shared this warm feeling with my family so that I could be reminded that anger is not capable of seeing the bright moonlight. I reflected Jesus’s spirit by speaking of His mercy and love to anyone who would hear me. I shared the loss of my father, but in the same breath I would share the goodness that I felt in my heart when I opened my heart to Love. I took the hurt and made an origami flower to wear proudly. I worked to help others in their time of sadness.

When I had a major surgery, I was utterly helpless and was forced to be still yet again due to the intense pain. It was hard to accept the help from my church family and friends, but I tried to be still. I found the discipline I had once before and forgave myself for needing to have a major surgery and embraced those who came to my aide with love. I taught my children how Christians care for one another in times of need. Even on days when the pain cripples me, I feel such joy when I reach out to help others in need. It is a sort of high now. I no longer need to be in the physical presence of that beach to feel the presence of God. All I need to do now is hug someone who is hurting, call a lonely friend or offer a warm meal. Helping others fills my heart and dampens any brewing anger I begin to feel.

-Maricela Ramos

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