29: God is a donkey.
-Rev Melissa Fain-
22 Then God became angry because he went. So while he was riding on his donkey accompanied by his two servants, the Lord’s messenger stood in the road as his adversary. 23 The donkey saw the Lord’s messenger standing in the road with his sword drawn in his hand, so the donkey turned from the road and went into the field. Balaam struck the donkey in order to turn him back onto the road. 24 Then the Lord’s messenger stood in the narrow path between vineyards with a stone wall on each side. 25 When the donkey saw the Lord’s messenger, it leaned against the wall and squeezed Balaam’s foot against the wall, so he continued to beat it. 26 The Lord’s messenger persisted and crossed over and stood in a narrow place, where it wasn’t possible to turn either right or left. 27 The donkey saw the Lord’s messenger and lay down underneath Balaam. Balaam became angry and beat the donkey with the rod. 28 Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you that you’ve beaten me these three times?” 29 Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you’ve tormented me. If I had a sword in my hand, I’d kill you now.” 30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on whom you’ve often ridden to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”
Balaam said, “No.” 31 Then the Lord uncovered Balaam’s eyes, and Balaam saw the Lord’s messenger standing in the road with his sword drawn in his hand. Then he bowed low and worshipped.
Numbers 22:22-31 CEB
I hate everything sometimes. Specifically, I hate when theologies break down a potentially good relationship. People can just be donkeys. (Yes, switch out words, because I'm not thinking "donkey.") You know, I can be a donkey every now again. It's not easy for me to engage those who are openly hostile to my calling. I've learned this hostility happens on both sides of the Spiritual spectrum, and happen for different reasons. Either way, it can, to put it nicely, irk me.
I just want to turn if off, shut it down, and walk away. To no one in particular I think, "Dude, I get what your problem really is, and it's not what you're saying it is." There are bigger issues, and I'm not going to unpack someone else's emotional baggage. I'm not going to engage. I'm not going to respond. I've mentally blown it up. Imagine me slow mo walking away from the epic explosion.
Sometimes, very rarely, the donkey is the voice of God. I never truly disconnect, not fully. Even my closest donkey could be a conduit to the Divine. As much as I feel broken and bent by those who are just hardheaded mules, I don't buy into the "unfollow" culture. Please know, I'm not going to seek or engage, but I'm not going to completely cut off either. I actually pray for God to speak through these people. Speaking through mules is a re-connection of community. We should all want that. So, until my burrow of a self speaks to someone who sees me as such, I'll be open to the same. God is a donkey.
Pray with me:
Holy God, If I'm the mule, help me transform to be a sufficient voice for you. Also, make me aware when you are speaking through my own burrows. Amen.