Today I would like to offer a brief but interesting reflection on Palm Sunday, courtesy of my dear friend Mark Tarrant. He shared with me this very unique poem by G.K. Chesterton, which brings a new perspective to Palm Sunday.
by G.K. Chesterton
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.
To me, this poem outlines how flawed the donkey’s perspective is and underscores the grace that can be given by walking with Christ. The donkey underscores his own perspective of his station as an undesirable, unpleasant creature but in the end has his own last laugh. A few weeks ago, my wife participated in the Stations of the Cross from Mary’s perspective. While it was a wholly different presentation and situation, I find the shifted or different perspective can offer a greater opportunity for thought, prayer, and reflection.
Our priest encouraged everyone to take time this week to reflect on why Christ made this ultimate sacrifice for us. We have the opportunity daily to reflect on the Way of the Cross this week and incorporate this opportunity for salvation into our lives.
It is a wonderful poem, and one that every child should memorize. In the book, “Common Sense 101, Lessons From G.K. Chesterton,” Dale Ahlquist makes the following comments on “The Donkey.”
“The Donkey” is a microcosm of Chesterton and his philosophy. It is an early poem, but it contains all the elements that would fill his writing for the rest of his life: paradox, humor, humility, wonder, the defense of the poor and simple, the rebuke of the rich and worldly wise. The other recurrent theme, seen in everything from his Father Brown stories to his public debates, is the presentation of a character we would at first dismiss, but who surprises us by being in direct contact with the very embodiment of Truth. Be careful before you call someone an ass: he may be carrying Christ.