No Solo Carriers
A guest post by Amber Hoopengarner
“As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross.” –Matthew 27:32 (NIV)
Watching the news one morning in March 2021 caused me to be in shock, disgust and unimaginable sadness as I saw a group of Asian men and women rallying to remind the world that they matter because recent events have left them the target of brutal attacks. The result is that they are feeling vulnerable and confused. They are questioning what they thought they knew about this free country.
Minutes later, I turned off the television and thought about my own life trials and tasks. What can I do? I am only one person, one woman in one small town, chasing around several headstrong children. Suddenly, God reminded me of the man named Simon who helped carry the cross of Jesus Christ.
Simon was just an average African man visiting while Jesus was on his way to be crucified at a spot outside Jerusalem called Golgotha.
Simon was not on any special assignment. He did not have a particular agenda and nothing else is mentioned or known of him. Up until now, he was not heard of, yet Scripture says that he was instructed to carry the cross of Jesus. Can you imagine the thoughts he could have had? Perhaps he said, “You want me to do what? I do not even know this man, that wood looks extremely heavy!”
Despite what the conversation may have sounded like or what Simon was thinking, the Bible says that he placed the cross on his back and helped Jesus carry it without complaint.
Can you imagine what the world would be like if we would react to our brothers and sisters of different races and cultures the same way when they are facing hardship?
What if we help people of color carry their cross? What if we make the conscious choice to rally alongside the oppressed and marginalized as we climb together to be taken seriously, treated fairly, thought of in circles we never have dreamed about, and have our names spoken in rooms we only imagined being able to enter?
What if we accept the fact that it is not just one person’s cross to bear? If we all do our part to fight in love and carry each other’s crosses no matter how heavy they are, then we will be blessed with the opportunities to witness about the unconditional, never ending, constant love of the One (Jesus Christ) who died to set us free.
Let’s Pray: Dear God, please forgive me for the times when I am too overwhelmed by all the chaos of the world and my own struggles to think I can do anything to help. Allow me to remember that the most important thing I can do is lift up others—especially those fighting racial injustice—in prayer. You care about those who the world so quickly targets and then forgets. Thank You, God, for the strength and courage to help bear another’s cross. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
Amber Hoopengarner is a writer and self-published author who is also a Certified Life Coach working with women who suffer from PMADs and children who suffer from mental health disorders.
She is a Maternal Mental Health Advocate and works to help raise awareness within the church of mental health disorders especially among BIPOC women.
Amber graduated in 2016 from the University of Phoenix with an Associates in Human Services Management and is currently in the process of obtaining her bachelor’s in psychology. She also has certificates in Mental Health Coaching, Bibliotherapy and CBT as well as in Perinatal Mood Anxiety Disorders.
Amber loves God and people! She enjoys making a difference through bringing up issues and challenges that sometimes would not otherwise be addressed. Amber believes that God wants His people to be loved where right where they are while they are working on who He has called them to become.
Connect with Amber:
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/amberwha35/