Sometimes I have been a bystander and watched the struggle, I confess, thinking "I;m glad it's not me, or by the grace of God it's not me." Sometimes I am impelled to carry the cross with them, but if you practice Medicine it can be part of the job and it's not the same, or at least it does not seem the same. It's convenient to have a role.
A bystander or passer-by in Jerusalem, Simon of Cyrene was minding his own business at the time a parade of convicts went by and because Jesus who was with them and had been roughed up badly beforehand, he was falling down carrying the cross So Simon was co-opted by the guards to help carry the cross.
Matthew says, "As they went out, they came across a man of Cyrene, Simon by name; this man they compelled to carry his cross."
Mark says, "And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. "
Luke says, "And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross to carry it behind Jesus. "
We don't know what happened to Simon of Cyrene after he carried the cross, having by the grace of God carried the instrument of crucifixion, probably unwillingly. It's a human thing. The Centurians were tough and in charge and the crowds passionate and pushy. We are all short of time and have our own stuff to do. And what can I really do? What difference can I really make? It's really too bad but I am only just one of many.
Simon of Cyrene was not one of many. We hear no more of him. But then, I can imagine. Time and event have thrust him forever, willing or not, into the warp and weave of God and Man