Beneath the warm fuzzy appearances within the Christian community
A Poem by Bill Dahl
Art by Rob Woodrum
All Rights Reserved 2007
Once upon a time,
There were 7 Rabbits.
They lived for decades among us,
Becoming wise about our habits.
They sat, watched, learned and listened,
To all our songs, praise, prayers, and conversations.
This poem is about what they learned,
Within the walls of Christianity’s congregations.
These 7 rabbits became so concerned,
They began to pray to God.
That He would intervene,
And correct what they deemed so odd.
God answered the prayer of these rabbits,
Then sent them on a mission.
To speak to those who claim His name,
To act upon this message of repentance and contrition.
I fell asleep in the park one afternoon.
When I was abruptly awakened from my slumber.
I was surrounded by rabbits!
Seven was their number.
I thought I was dreaming,
But as I rubbed my eyes,
I thought I heard one whisper:
“He will never believe this you guys!”
I took a drink of water,
Shook my head in disbelief.
The gray one said, “Listen Up!”
As the brown one munched a leaf.
“We know this is probably difficult.
It might be hard for you to swallow.
God sent us here to speak to you,
Before we return to our hollow.”
“You’ve wrung the mystery out of the Gospel.
Ready with specific answers, black and white.
What’s a person with questions and doubts to do?
Your approach, it’s just not right.”
“How can His children come to you?
Overwhelmed with fears and frustration.
When you’re not even listening!
You confound their consternation.”
“The way you live His Gospel,
Your approach to daily life you must reshape.
The ordinary in every day must be revalued,
It’s not something you attempt to escape.”
The large white one came to the forefront,
A few hops in front of the others.
“The message we have to deliver,
Is for your fathers, sister’s, moms and brothers.
“God, He’s quite concerned.
His Church was christened to be effective.
Man has slyly manipulated the intent,
Your efforts have become defective.”
“Don’t look so defensive.
That’s no way to start.
Digest what we have to share with you,
Not with your head, but with your heart.”
“The way you live your lives,
For all the world to see.
It’s a picture of the religion business.
It’s time to get back to reality.”
“You’ve come to idolize something strange,
prosperity, false promises, and the unique.
Perhaps it’s time to reconsider why,
Ordinary folks avoid you like a freak.”
The white rabbit hopped back among the group,
The black one began to wiggle his white nose.
“Let’s not focus on the past, he said.
That’s not why Jesus rose.”
“Ever since Acts chapter two;
The moment that began His disciples emergence.
His Spirit was outpoured as a gift to you,
Guiding you toward His kingdom’s new resurgence.”
“What man has done since that time,
You’ve become self-righteous and so proud!
The unspeakable things you’ve done in His name,
Cannot be spoken of aloud.”
“You Christians scurry here and there,
Like life’s meaning is to remain eternally busy.
You’re running round in circles.
Going nowhere, getting dizzy.”
“Some of you who claim His Name,
The millions who declare “I’m saved by grace.”
God has much more for you beyond this notion,
Draw near and seek His face.”
“Your world is filled with choices,
So many you feel you just may burst.
It’s caused you to become self-centered.
Displacing His example to put His others first.”
A planet filled with the poor and hungry,
You focus on getting your share of enough.
You’ve developed a ravenous appetite,
Feasting on all the world’s wrong stuff.
“Wipe that sneer off your face!”
Shouted the light tan bunny.
“Don’t get smug with us!
The truth is tough. It’s not remotely funny.”
“What you men can’t comprehend
Is the impact of your defective behavior.
On Earth as it is in heaven,
Is the intention of your Savior.”
“God sent us here to tell you,
He expects an immediate shift.
This existence you enjoy on this Earth,
Is to be lived as a supernatural gift.”
“Building businesses around His people,
You’re sly with your deceit.
You’ve created castles surrounded by moats,
Not Christ’s heart, hands, arms and feet!”
“Jesus was loved by sinners.
Have you considered why they don’t like you?
He only walked on water once.
Perhaps this might provide a clue.”
The green bunny on the right,
He hopped forward twice.
“I’m to remind you about another thing,
The importance of sacrifice.”
“He told you to choose the narrow gate.
Yet, you’ve changed the pathway and the door.
Numbed by all your creature comforts,
The hungry, homeless, and the sick, are the one’s you now ignore.
“You people have got it all wrong,
You think you’re really living.
Lives idolizing comfort and accumulation,
Immune from the blessedness of giving.
“Look around your life my friend.
Identify the nonsense you must discard.
There’s no room for the gift of sacrificial living
Amongst the essentials piled in your barnyard.”
The blue bunny leapt ahead of the green one,
Her eyes were red like fire.
“I’m here to speak toward authenticity.
Man has become a quintessential liar.”
“Drop your top hat, wand and magic tricks.
Stand silently, listening to the wind in the trees.
Listen for His still small voice,
In reverence, drop down on your knees.”
“As you walk daily through humanity,
Feeling self-righteous, smug and proud.
This mindset separates you from His children.
It’s time to become one of the crowd.”
“You say time is your most precious asset.
To love God with all your heart seems odd.
He desires more time alone with you.
He said, “Be still and know that I am God.”
The brown one stopped his munching and exclaimed:
“How’s it feel to be talked to by 7 rabbits?
God decided to get your attention today,
To examine your defective habits.”
“The way you speak about one another,
You sound like angry parrots.
Perhaps you might spend more time in prayer,
Or stuff your mouth with carrots.”
“God said to remind you,
About the dangers of your tongue;
Let your actions do your talking,
Caring for one another, the elderly and the young.”
“You’re too focused on being right,
Your words alienate, push and shove.
What does being right,
Have anything to do with His boundless love?”
The brown one hopped back among the six.
Their collective glare made me cower.
“Detach yourselves from partisan politics,
His Kingdom doesn’t need that kind of power.”
“You’ve become addicted to drama,
The extraordinary, and center-stage.
It’s time for a new script.
Something an ordinary audience can engage.”
With that he flicked his big brown left ear.
All 7 hopped out of sight across the lawn.
I suddenly became very drowsy
And fell asleep until the dawn.
What is one to do?
When visited by 7 rabbits?
How can you share this story,
That we Christians must change our habits?
As I contemplated this experience,
With the astonishment of a child.
I pondered the possibility,
We’ve domesticated what He intended to be wild.
Perhaps we must begin to pursue Him
With renewed passion and imagination.
Yearning for The One,
To restore our inspiration.
As I gazed above into the trees above,
I saw a little bird on a perch.
“If I was you I’d examine your ways.
God said you are His church.”
Bill Dahl, is a freelance writer and social justice advocate. Bill is published in numerous professional publications, magazines, websites, journals, newspapers and newsletters. Bill and his family make their home in central Oregon.
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