violette

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Heart's ease - an infusion was said to help mend a broken heart

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Donkeys

Last year I spent Palm Sunday weekend in Llannerchwen, where I met these two fellows whilst out walking. It was, as you can see from the photo, a proper late March spring day of brilliant sunshine beaming down from a clear blue sky...

But I digress...



Asses and donkeys don't get a good press. Donkeys are stubborn and/or stupid, while asses are simply stupid, or ridiculously self-important people who end up showing themselves up. Another word for stubborn or obstinate is "mulish", derived from mules. (Horses, of course, are never regarded as stubborn, just highly-strung!) We easily forget that donkeys are also characterised by their patient ability to bear heavy burdens and hard labour, and that they're generally friendly and easier to approach than horses.

When we reflect on God's incarnational humility we need to remember that he chose not only to become human but to be one who was poor and dispossessed; one with calloused hands and hardened feet, who could only ever imagine what brocade and fine living could feel like. An ordinary working man, who had probably never mounted a horse in his life, but would have felt secure on a donkey. And at this profound, dread-filled moment in his life, entering Jerusalem and facing all that would happen, a patient, friendly, sure-footed donkey must have felt the ideal form of transport...

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