Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

A Letter to Simon, a Man from Africa

Dear Simon,

I read about the kind act you performed for Jesus as you came into Jerusalem for Passover, and I was very moved. I hope I am not prying, but I would very much like to ask you a few questions. Feel free to save the answers until I have the privilege of talking with you in person.

From the accounts I read, it appears your timing was either impeccable or very unfortunate. After a long journey from North Africa to Israel, I can imagine you were exhausted and ready to get some food and find a place to rest. Instead of finally putting your baggage down, you were asked to carry someone else’s. And this, a cross beam of a condemned man raw, beaten, bloodied, and grisly.

I can’t help but wonder, Simon, if you were singled out and discriminated against because you were a black African in a white culture. Did you feel that injustice? Did you feel put upon? Did you feel ashamed to be associated with a convict heading to his crucifixion? (Had you ever seen this method of execution before? The most horrendous in all the world’s history. Had the brutal Romans applied this hideous technology to Africa as well?)


How long did it take you to discover that you, in coming to the aid of this dying man, were playing a part in history and given the greatest honor a human being could be given? Did you see the look of gratitude in the kindest of eyes? For He certainly didn’t let your generous exertion on his behalf go unnoticed or unrewarded.

You, dear Simon, are His friend forever. Such a lucky man. Thank you for sharing in His suffering. Because you were at the wrong place at the wrong time, you were given the opportunity of a lifetime, a brush with destiny. I can’t wait to hear how this little unexpected event changed the course of your life and of your sons, Alexander and Rufus.

It seems at the end of a long journey, you found yourself beginning another.

I look forward to hearing more.

With Sincere Thanks,


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