Creative Work


Ralph Carelli

My name is Simon from Cyrene. I was passing through the land
Outside the city of Jerusalem, when I came upon this man.
Soldiers put a purple robe on him and twisted a crown of thorns.
Then setting the crown upon his head, they cursed him for being born.

As they led him out to be crucified, the Roman soldiers stopped me,
Shouting, “Carry the criminal’s cross!” His broken body lay at my feet.
I didn’t even know his name; his cross I could hardly bare.
It took all my strength to carry it. I could hear the crowd; I was scared.

He was nailed to the cross; his garments were stripped from him as he was raised.
They offered him wine mixed with myrrh; he refused it as he hung on display.
Dividing up his clothes, the soldiers cast lots. But what did this man do?
They had written a charge upon a sign, saying he was “The King of the Jews.”

And then he gazed into my eyes, the crowd confusing my every sense.
But a peace came over my troubled heart as I turned from the evidence.
Years have passed since that exchange. I didn’t know I’d been lost.
It was me he had carried that day long ago as he hung there on that cross.


IMAGINE being in the crowd that day. How do you feel? What are your questions? What happens when Jesus gazes into your eyes?

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