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The Runaway Bunny—I Mean, Sheep

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Illustration from "The Runaway Bunny" by Margaret Wise Brown Pictures by Clement Hurd

Illustration from “The Runaway Bunny”
by Margaret Wise Brown
Pictures by Clement Hurd

The Runaway Bunny—I Mean, Sheep

This week’s daily lectionary readings have a great deal to do with shepherds and sheep. (Among other, related matters.) However, I immediately associated today’s reading for reflection with one of my favorite picture books: “The Runaway Bunny.”

Today’s reading for reflection is several paragraphs from “Prayer” by Simon Tugwell. In that reading, I was deeply moved by the following: “ . . . very often, we are not looking for God; far from it, we are in full flight from Him.”

Sure enough, I immediately connected this reading with “The Runaway Bunny.” The simple story has two characters, a little bunny and his mother bunny. The little bunny has wanderlust, and wants to strike out on his own. Run away. Unheeding. The mother bunny pursues him, lovingly, diligently, persistently. In the words of Margaret Wise Brown, “If you run away, I will run after you. For you are my little bunny.”

We are not the ones who need to look for God. Instead, God comes looking for me. Lovingly, diligently, persistently. Even though I am heedless. Even though I run away—often. Even though I am quite like this little bunny, repeatedly turning my back on my loving Mother Bunny. (Or, is it my loving Shepherd?)

“Shucks,” said the little bunny, “I might just as well stay where I am and be your little bunny.”
And so he did.
“Have a carrot,” said the mother bunny.

Let’s pray. Dear Lord, gracious Shepherd, thank You for loving me. Thank you for pursuing me, even when I run away from You. Talk about secure parenting! You are indeed a loving Shepherd (or, is it a Mother Bunny?) to me. Thanks, Lord.


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