Thinking Of Working Donkeys During This Holiday Season

*Please note that following today’s post, I am taking a blogger’s break as I celebrate Christmas. I plan to resume posting new content for you again in January 2023.*

I don’t have any donkeys in my backyard, but I must say that I am a donkey fan. I like looking at donkey pictures and video clips. I enjoy reading about them. Meeting the occasional donkey in person is a particular delight. There’s just something about their look and demeanor that I find really inviting.

As a Christian believer, I am also drawn to the numerous mentions of donkeys in the Bible. The passages about Balaam’s Donkey in the Book of Numbers are likely the most compelling to me. And during this time of Advent when Christians prepare to celebrate Christ’s birth, I think particularly about the Bible passages that describe a pregnant Mary, Jesus’s mother, riding on a donkey during her travels. (UPDATE: You know what, there ARE NOT Bible Passages that describe Mary riding on a donkey. Instead of Bible passages, I should have said “Christmas imagery.” Considering the plethora of donkeys that existed during Biblical times, it is assumed that she MIGHT have ridden on a donkey or that there MIGHT have been donkeys present at the birth of Jesus, but they are not explicitly mentioned. This is a case of my confusing folks lore for what is actually written. Some of the most iconic Christmas images are not technically Scriptural. I apologize for the error.)

Donkeys were an integral part of people’s lives in Biblical times. They were crucial to the completion of so many tasks. Yet even today, in many parts of the world, donkeys perform important work for their owners. It’s probably not something many folks in fully industrialized countries think about. But there are still millions of working donkeys around the world today, particularly in some of the most economically disadvantaged places.

Brooke (and their sister organization in the USA, BrookeUSA) is one of the organizations that work to better the lives of working donkeys and their people. Brooke estimates that 100 million donkeys, horses and mules support 600 million people around the world.

As I contemplate the concurrent seasons of Christian Advent and the Jewish Festival of Lights, I’ll be making a donation to BrookeUSA in honor of the working animals of past and present. These donkeys are yet another reminder to me this holiday season that sometimes help and hope come in the most unassuming and humblest of packages.

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