Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936), the prominent and prodigious British author and Christian apologist, captured another side of Palm Sunday as he considered the triumphant entry from the perspective of the donkey that our Lord Jesus rode. The whimsical poem is at once both comical and convicting. I am concerned when I read it. Have I sometimes assumed the role of the donkey, thinking the “cheering” over ministry in Jesus’ name is about me? “Great Sermon, Pastor.” “My heart was moved.” “Great insights; as if you were speaking to me!” If I am not spiritually vigilant I can turn into Chesterton’s foal (or “fool”). ASS-uming such a position reveals my lamentable braying nature as well my continuing desperate need. Perhaps, I am not the only donkey on Palm Sunday. Read on!]
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.