The soft and somehow frantic sound came as I cut mounds of kale from my garden last Saturday. It was like knocking on wood but I couldn’t identify its source. I continued to cut and it wasn’t long until I found the sound.
The unexpected blur of tiny furry bodies startled me in turn and I jumped back. When my own heart calmed, I saw two baby bunnies frightened out of their wits because I had slowly removed the shelter they had been born into. Two baby bunnies scrambled to find a place to hide in the now almost bare garden bed.
I hadn’t had time to harvest the kale regularly and so the garden was a jungle of lush leaves completely concealing their nest and sheltering it from the sun and unfriendly critters.
Those two babies, no bigger than the palm of my hand, didn’t know I wasn’t going to hurt them. It was so hard not to reach in with a gentle finger to pet their soft little bodies but I didn’t want to scare them anymore than I already had. There was yet one kale plant uncut and so I covered them carefully with its leaves so that they would be safe.
If you know me well, you will not be surprised that I also assured those tiny bunnies that I was not going to hurt them. Remember that I am the woman who could totally believe that the little Smoky Mountain bear cub waved to me when he stood up for a better view. He may also have been wearing a bow tie.
For a couple of days I couldn’t resist lifting those leaves to check on the bunnies and to ooh and ah over their adorableness. I hesitantly pointed them out to Caleb and Faith, too, and was glad that they also, without prompting, did not attempt to touch them.
My care and concern for these little guys does not even come close to the level of care that our heavenly Father has for His children… sheltering us like a mother hen shelters her chicks, providing refuge in the shelter of His wings, or hiding us in the cleft of the rock.
Unlike the deceitfully safe shelter in my overgrown garden bed, even when life boils around us, God’s shelter is truly calm and peaceful. Sometimes I long to kneel at the feet of Jesus, to guiltlessly lay down my labors for just a short while, to feel Him put His hand on my head, and to breathe in the peace and the calm in that place of His Presence. At times I ask Him to let me do that, and to let me feel His quieting hand on my head.
On Sunday at the end of a beautiful worship service, the pastor commented that he just wanted to stay in that place. To stay in that attitude of worshipful focus where there is peace. And I longed for it as well. And remembered the bunnies in my garden looking for shelter.
I pray that you know where to find that rest and peace, that shelter in the storm. And know, too, when it is time to stop to enter into the stillness of the Presence of God. That you will take the time.
These words have been on my mind since then…
“Word of God speak
Would you pour down like rain
Washing my eyes to see
To be still and know
That you’re in this place
Please let me stay and rest
In your holiness
Word of God speak”
*Word of God Speak written by Peter C. Kipley and Bart Millard and performed by MercyMe
As I wrote this post this evening, two tiny bunnies and their mama hopped from the garden and into the yard. They were so much more cute than I can describe… those miniature brown rabbits with tall ears! I am sure that their mama had to help them out of the raised bed. I wonder if she moved them? (She did. They aren’t there this morning and this makes me happy that they are safe.)
And if you are curious about my not caring that rabbits were actually LIVING in my garden… there was more than enough kale to go around!