What? D’ya think a donkey can’t talk? Haven’t ya ever heard of Balaam’s ass? I’m just a young’un, and I already know about him. He’s famous among us donkeys! So let me tell ya about something cool that happened to me—even better than Balaam’s ass.
The sun is shining bright and clear, with just a bit of breeze blowing from the direction of those olive groves over there. It’s the first day of the week, and Master is giving Mom and me a chance to graze on the village green before taking us to work. Yeah, I get ta go ta work with Mom every day! Isn’t that cool?
As we’re munching on the grass, these two strangers come up and start untying the two of us. That was kina cheeky, don’t ya think? When Master tries to stop ‘em, they tell him, “The Lord needs them; he’ll send them right back.” Yeah, right! What a weird thing to say—how do we know they’re not going to steal us?…but it’s even weirder when Master lets ‘em take us! What’s going on?!
So off we go, dragged along by these two strangers. Next thing I know, we’re surrounded by a whole bunch of people, and some of them are throwing their cloaks on my back. “Hey! What’s going on?! Ya think you’re gonna ride me? Not so fast, buddy! Nobody’s ever done that before!” I’m ready to resist them with all I’ve got, splaying my feet and sitting back on my haunches.
…until HE stands in front of me. He looks right into my eyes and gives me a smile warm as the sunshine on my back. Then he gives me the official donkey greeting: he comes right up to my face and sniffs, then blows into my nose—just like us donkeys do with each other! We exchange breath, I sniff him back, and—oh!—he smells so fresh: more scrumptious than the sweetest alfalfa I’ve ever eaten! And what’s even better, there’s something about his breath that feels like life itself. It fills me with energy and makes me want to skip around like my little goat friend back on the village green. Then, when he starts scratching me behind my ears and murmuring kind words, suddenly I recognize his voice: it’s the voice that spoke me into being—that speaks everything into being! I know who this is: he’s my creator!
I stand back up. My feet aren’t splayed anymore. If anybody’s gonna ride me, let it be him. To carry my creator—what higher privilege could I have? But why would he want to ride on my back? He’s the king of the universe! He should be ridin’ some magnificent steed or something. Why would he choose a humble donkey colt like me? But here he is. I’m not complainin’!
As we make our way into Jerusalem, the crowds build and the shouts get louder. “Hosanna!” on one side. “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” from the other. “Lord, save us!” over there. The clamor woulda made my feet splay again if it weren’t for that voice continually calming me, reassuring me that everything is gonna be all right.
All eyes are on him. No one is paying any attention to me, but that’s just fine. To be able to carry my creator today is the coolest thing that coulda ever happened to me. I wish I could do this for him every day!
Unlike this colt that had just one opportunity, we carry Jesus every day. How does your experience compare to this donkey’s?
- What does it mean to you to carry Jesus? How does it feel for you to carry Him? Does it seem like a privilege …a burden? …a necessity? …a delight? …an obligation? …something else?
- What kinds of things make you sit down on your back haunches like a reluctant donkey? …make your feet splay? …make you want to resist Him? Why?
- If Jesus were to stand before you right now and share your breath, how would His breath smell? What would you want His breath of life to do to your body? …your heart? …your soul?
- Do you ever wonder why Jesus chose to “ride” you, using you to carry Him into a situation? Tell Him about it.
- How does Jesus speak to you? How do you recognize His voice? How does His “voice”—however you “hear” Him—impact you? Think of a time when He has “spoken” reassuring words to you that enabled you to move forward, carrying Him into a situation.
- What does it look like for you to carry Jesus today?
~ Kathryn Kircher, writer
~ Deana Harvey, artist