Recently someone said to me that when you meet new people that they are either a blessing or a lesson!

Consider Simon who helped Jesus carry his cross. There he was walking along minding his own business when the soldiers pretty much forced him to help Jesus. Little did he know who he was really helping or that 2018 years after I’d be putting him in my blog!!

Similarly with us, at times we are just doing life and minding our own business when a drama happens.

It might be your son or daughter having a child outside marriage, it might be your best friend getting divorced or discovering that your child is gay. It could be a sudden death, an abortion or an affair.

Your first reaction might be like Simon, to run away from it all and yet deeper down the Lord may be calling you to help that broken child carry their cross and find Jesus’ merciful face.

Jesus was a friend of sinners and yet an enemy of sin! He lived in the world without being of the world and He desires us to do the same!

The broken people He puts on our path are spiritual trials! Are we able to love them and help them and in the process are we able to learn from them?

Perhaps had we grown up as that person did we’d be far worse than them. Jesus is asking us to befriend them, to love them, to see Him in them!

At times we’d prefer not to. We like our lives as they are, we are comfortable and happy and we don’t want to be disturbed!

Yet, on judgement day when we meet the Lord we might hear

Away with you, you cursed ones, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons.42 For I was hungry, and you didn’t feed me. I was thirsty, and you didn’t give me a drink. 43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t invite me into your home. I was naked, and you didn’t give me clothing. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.

So today as we go about our lives and we think about those people put on our path to challenge us, let us think of Simon who by helping the convicted Jesus up to Calvary saved his own soul and has become a saint and an example to all people for all ages!

And that when we die we may hear

Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.