Donkey Hearts

And what was said to the rose to make it unfold was said to me, here in my chest. So be quiet now… and rest.                                                                                                      -David Crowder

We’re literally surrounded by the earth’s sprinkles of life. My tree’s blooming branches cover me in a tunnel of intoxicating flowers. I’m just a wayfaring speck of dust, floating through this tunnel of bliss with a developing soul, riding the wind with bursts of adrenaline flushing my lifelessness away. I watch the grass grow, and it’s as if the future is sprouting green furs. It’s rather breathtaking to my speck of dust heart. If I had breath to be taken away, it would be completely taken, and I would float into the center of a blossom and live there forever.

When I quietly sit in wonder under the blossoms, I can hear the bees furiously flapping their wings and singing in the hive of tomorrow. When I quietly sit under my tree, I feel okay. This loneliness will not get to me. I imagine myself as a bee on those lonely afternoons. I work so hard every day and see the world through jaded hexagons, with a stinger fully prepared. But in all truth, the most stinging I do is to myself. I let loneliness erode my passion and disappointment swells my heart like an infectious sting. I live like my life is really put together on the outside, like a nice little portrait of a renaissance girl in an elaborately jeweled dress. But underneath the acrylics, her fear is plastered in the gloopy colors.

I desperately want to touch the sunrise. I want to feel its wetness like paint, then smear it over my heart and beneath my eyes like a warrior. I want to slather myself in honey and let the sweetness from the bees soak into me. I want to wipe away the pain and sin of this world like dusting off a trinket on a shelf somewhere and make it all polished and smelling like lemons. But I can’t. There’s still so much rejection, embarrassment, and stress that I feel. And that the world feels. Babies are still killed. People are still bullied. We make ourselves suffer as we watch happiness blow away like a balloon that hasn’t been held on tight enough.

But there’s something more grand and breathtaking waiting for us in the sky. Easter is coming soon, and Easter should be a reminder for us of God’s defeat over all things bad and evil.

Recently, one of my best friends smoked pot for the first time. Sadly, it’s not so uncommon where I live for kids my age to be doing that. I’ve smelled it, seen people who are high, and realize that a lot of people think it’s a fun past-time, part of the “high school experience.” My heart always goes out to those people, but it never struck me as serious until now, when someone I love so dearly chose to do something like that.

I was to the point where I wondered if I should give up on my best friend. Should I move on, find other friends who would never go down that path? That’s what a lot of people thought. I shouldn’t surround myself with “that type.”

The thing is, my best friend isn’t “that type,” whatever that type is. (I think it’s silly to put labels on people like that.) We all sin and make mistakes. Jesus didn’t choose to hang out with the righteous dudes, he chose the ones who had been in that dark place and needed help, hope, and a home. I knew I could never leave my best friend. She means the world to me, and she needs me now more than ever. In fact, when talking to her about it, she said the experience actually kind of sucked. She got in huge trouble and decided she would never do it again. I texted her a Bible verse that night and told her I was praying for her and wouldn’t give up on her. She’s way less stressed now, and when driving around with her on some highway the other night, (our favorite thing to do), singing loudly to the radio, I realized she had been herself all along. Jesus rescued her from a painful hiccup in her life.

That’s why it’s important for us to proclaim the message of Easter all the time. Not only during this Holy Week, but always. There’s always someone who needs the glorious, blinding, radiant light of a loving savior, who died specifically for those who were in a dark spot.

There’s an awesome online devotional my mom showed me called It’s beautifully written, and I love listening to the song while getting ready (you can totally praise Jesus and put on mascara at the same time. So awesome. ) Yesterday’s reading for Palm Sunday had a neat analogy. As Jesus was coming into Jerusalem, there was the crowd, the Pharisees, and the donkey. The question was where we stood in the scene. The crowd shouted joyfully and praised Jesus as he came in, but on the day of his crucifixion they shouted for him to die. Sometimes we are part of the crowd too, if we trust Jesus in the good times but get mad and ignore him in the bad.

Then there was the Pharisees. They disregarded Jesus and didn’t like all the attention he was getting. Sometimes we’re Pharisees if we put our appearance, social status, or accomplishments above God.

But then there was a lowly donkey. The donkey faithfully carried our Savior into Jerusalem and wasn’t scared off by the tense and judgmental crowd. The donkey performed the duty that the Lord called it to do and did it faithfully. It carried Jesus and his message for the crowds to hear.

We can be the donkey in this story if we aren’t afraid to carry Jesus and his message into the broken world. He promises us that he will work in us if we let him. So today, I’m going to be a donkey. Want to join?

Jesus has abundantly blessed my life with so much. This week (and always) I want to give it all back to him. I want to be a big-eyed, big-eared donkey that sees the world with humble eyes and listens to people without judging them. Please give me grace to do that Jesus. You make everything glorious, even our donkey hearts.

My great-aunt MaryAnn and uncle Jack run their own farm in Colorado Springs. They don’t have these little guys there anymore, but I remember absolutely adoring these miniature donkeys. How much cuteness can you fit into a single being of existence? I miss them dearly. Maybe this blog can be a tribute to them and there sweet donkey hearts 🙂

As for my Holy Week acts of kindness, my mom and I helped one of our good friends with her Girl Scout Gold Award by sewing baby blankets for hospitals. I was quite proud of finishing 6 blankets. And not completely ruining them! (aren’t you uber-proud of me Juju? 🙂 Notice no more braces…

This is random, but over spring break we went to the Brown Palace Hotel for tea. It was stunning. The ceiling was beautiful stained glass and everything inside was so rich with history I wanted to stir it up in my tea and drink it all up. We also went to Copper for a day and skied and tubed.

Also, I’d like to show everyone my mom’s beautiful dreamcatcher painting. I think it might just be my favorite one she’s done so far!

I don’t know a perfect person. I only know flawed people who are still worth loving.        -John Green

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