Yesterday, our congregation held its annual celebration honoring Independence Day: the 4th of July Pick Nick!
In years past, way back in the mists of time (aka: before I arrived) this annual event was held on the church property. However, three years ago, a parishioner volunteered her home and property for this event. She lives in an old farm-house and has a fully organic garden, both of which are a delight to visit. Her property is situated in a beautiful–actually, I’d say picturesque–valley with cows and horses on neighboring farms and all variety of wildlife abounding. This includes the occasional bunny a-bounding through the garden as well! A creek runs through the property. Pretty much the perfect setting all the way around. Lovely big trees in the yard that provide shade for our little party. You could not ask for anything more!
Part way through the afternoon, Bonnie (the owner of said property) announced that she and anyone who wanted to tag along were going on a Donkey Walk. In essence, this was walking over to the next farm to see the two pet donkeys.
They were just adorable and child and adult alike had a great time feeding them crab apples from Bonnie’s yard.
After writing the sermon for today about the Messiah riding in on the foal of a donkey, these little animals were of particular interest to me. These animals are so low to the ground that even I, a mere 5’1″, would not be able to actually ride one of them. Seeing these donkeys made the lectionary texts all the more meaningful as well as making the strangeness of a king riding this kind of animal quite real.
When I returned home, I loaded my photos onto my computer and found one photo that reminded me of the character of Donkey from the movie Shrek. That movie is, for many reasons, one of my favorites. In thinking about this, I realized how many of the wise and meaningful moments in the movie are made clear through the words of this “dense, irritating, miniature beast of burden,” as Shrek calls him.
Sometimes, it is the humble, lowly and simple that deliver the most important things of all.