A Pause In Lent No.5: Humility (or Donkeys)

I don’t feel terribly inspired today…nor do I feel like I’m anywhere near “ready” for Easter. This week is due to be quite hectic at work (good for the pay packet, but maybe not so good for my sanity!) so I won’t have much time for pausing and reflecting. I’ve decided not to go to the Good Friday service at church, as it’s a talk by a preacher who is not of my persuasion (I’m not a very evangelical type of believer, and he is, I think). I’m hoping I may be able to visit some friends of mine who can share a short time of reflection with me on Friday evening…but maybe I’ll be so tired that I’ll just try to spend a quiet time by myself. We shall see.

So, I think I will just share a picture or two with you, and a poem that seems very appropriate for today. Make of it what you will…

The Donkey

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

According to this legend, Jesus rode the donkey into Jerusalem and to the hill at Calvary, where he was forced to carry the cross on which he would later be crucified. Being a beast of burden, the little donkey wished he had been able to carry the cross for Jesus. Upset at the tragic event that was taking place, the donkey turned his back on the sight, but because of his love for Jesus he could not leave until it was all over.

It is told that as the sun was setting on the day and on Jesus’ life, the shadow of the cross fell across the donkey’s back. Since that time, donkeys have carried the mark of the cross as a sign of love from God. The reward the humble donkey received has forevermore been shown for all to see.


4 Responses to “A Pause In Lent No.5: Humility (or Donkeys)”

  1. Carolyn Phillips Says:

    I’ve always loved that poem and the legend of the donkey.

  2. magsmcc Says:

    I love this story! We went outside after Sunday School today with lots of chalks and had everyone drawing themselves into the Easter story on the flags outside church. One of the teenagers drew a great donkey! I’m encouraged to think someone else doesn’t yet feel ready! In the Message version of the story we read to the children today Jerusalem was described as “shaken” when Jesus entered to all that welcome. I could be shaken this week, I think, that would be good!

  3. Pom Pom Says:

    Oh, I knew donkeys were good! I love the poem and I love your words.
    I think a good dose of quiet during holy week is a very fine idea.

  4. Floss Says:

    It’s a fantastic poem – gets me every time. I love the way some people can tell the truth from a totally new perspective.

    Well, our church is so darn’ charismatic/evangelical that we don’t even worship on Good Friday – that’s just too Catholic! I don’t enjoy defining myself by what I’m not, and would rather enjoy a bit of everything that’s helpful, but I have to say that what we DO have at church is very helpful, so I should be quiet about our little foibles – after all, every church has them.

    Thanks for the chance of a micro-rant! And thanks for your comments on my post this week too.