Friday, January 19, 2007

Brave Bunny

Brave Bunny…

This is the story of a brave bunny and a tiny little miracle. Some time ago I received a rabbit for a birthday gift from my Mother Superior. She knew that I had two other rabbits in my life, one recently, both of whom were taken away. This particular bunny came to us when he was young. He sleeps each night on my bed with the convent’s two dogs (It’s a good thing it is a good sized bed or there wouldn’t be room for me.) Like others, I too wonder at times, why bad things happen to small lives that don’t deserve them. If I had all the answers I would be enlightened and wouldn’t be here on this earth any more. But sometimes I can see a lesson in events….

Yes, we can and must call upon God and His angels to protect us. He will be there to protect us - It all depends on our faith and the depth of our love and compassion which dictates how harmful or not the evil will be. If our love, faith, and compassion are great; then we will have much effect on the evil. But what of small lives, little ones who can’t pray for themselves? Well, you don’t give up on a life, even if it is a little broken.

All life is precious.

God speaks to us in the silence of our hearts. Mother Mary told us this at Medjugorgie. The Blessed Teresa taught it when she was alive. Here are her words:

“Talk to God.
Just let Jesus pray in you.
To be able to pray we need silence –
Because God speaks to us in the silence of the heart,
And we reply in the fullness of our heart-
These two together make prayer.
The fruit of prayer is always deepening of faith,
It has to transform itself into love.”

Last night I was up very late, or very early in the morning, depending on how you look at it. I was sitting at the table in my room reading, and all was silent. From behind me I heard my rabbit, who was asleep on the bed, start to tear around the bed, hopping wildly and screaming. I ran to the bed and picked up my rabbit. Mother Superior ran into the room in a flash. A short while later found Mother Superior examining my rabbit and me crying loudly – my rabbit was paralyzed. He couldn’t move his back legs. “How can this happen to an innocent life? Doesn’t God care about rabbits?” I asked.

Sometimes events happen to make other events happen. It is called “dependant origination.”

So here is the answer to my prayer, from the silence of my heart.

God speaks to a small bunny. Don’t think God speaks to animals? St. Francis of Assisi would disagree with you.

“Little one, will you be willing to serve me with you life?”

The small bunny agrees without question.

“When you are born, God explains to the bunny, you will be born into a body that will one day cause you pain. Eventually your back legs will not work properly.”

The bunny, being innocent and pure, as animals are. Obeys without question. Although the bunny didn’t ask God why he would ask such a thing, God explains it to the bunny anyway.

“The woman that will care for you, will be a nun. She, and others like her, will need to be reminded of lessons I have taught her, and those who came before her – you don’t give up on a life, even if it is a little broken, for all life is precious to me.”

I went to sleep that night with a rabbit that couldn’t move his back legs. I prayed my way to sleep last night. I asked God to heal my rabbit. I held the bunny in my arms and told him I would never give up on him, even if he couldn’t ever move his back legs.

This morning when I called the convent from work, I asked Mother Superior how my rabbit was. To her amazement, and mine, the bunny could now hop! Perhaps not as well as before, but he could hop – leaving a lesson, and providing me a chance to live it.

And here is that lesson from my childhood…

I was raised by a handicapped mother, who was born with cerebral palsy. When she was a child, mom was unable to walk. She needed braces up to her hips even to be able to stand. At this point in her life, my grandmother was raising mom on her own – she had been married to a very violent man. As a result grandmother had to work, while someone came over to watch mom. Even today, people tend to look down on someone who is handicapped, as if they are somehow less of a person. Children can be especially cruel when it comes to such behavior. As a result mom had no friends as a little girl. One day, out of the blue as they say, the neighbor girl came over and asked to play with mom while grandmother was away. She and mom played “dollies” – until the woman watching mom was out of sight for a bit. Then the little girl from next door locked my mother’s braces so she couldn’t stand up and stole all her dollies.

Mom lost a friend, she never had in the first place. She did get her dollies back. But what she had instead of friend in the girl next door was a loving mother who never gave up on a handicapped child. Grandmother paid for thirteen operations for my mother during the depression. As a result my mother not only could remove the braces but she could walk on her own. Grandmother didn’t give up there. She instilled in her daughter the importance of a good education; something that mom passed along to her daughters. As a result of grandmother not giving up on a life that was a little broken, mom could walk again, got a college education, got married and gave birth to a child who would one day be a nun – me.

All life is precious. You never give up on a life, even if it is a little broken, no matter how small that life is.

God Bless you all,

Sister Juliemarie


Anonymous said...

I happened upon this while searching for info. on how to help my bunny who was paralyzed for 3 days, I was feeding him with a syringe and on the 2nd day felt I should take him to the vet who would have ended his life. After reading this I was determined not to give up and the next morning he was back to normal. Thank you!

Sr.Julie said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us. It is very heartening. Brave Bunny eventually died. When he did, it was in my arms. Up until that point he lived with back legs that will hop, just not all that well. He brought us much love. Too often people give up on animals just because their life is a little broken, where they wouldn't even consider it if it was a human being.

God be with you,

Sister Julie