I was sitting in our sun room the other day, trying to stay cool, and typing another story for my legions of followers - all five of you. ;) It was supposed to be rather warm that day, in the 90's, and my wife and I were scheduled to go to an outdoor wedding. I wasn't really looking forward to sporting those always-attractive arm pit stains for everyone to see but I had resigned myself to the fact that it was going to happen anyway so I was trying to get over it.
My wife came out to visit me, a cup of tea in her hand. Everything was normal up to that point. It was just another "normal" day until, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something move in our back yard.
We get lots of animals wandering through our acre-sized lot. We live in the woods near a state park so we are "blessed" with lots of wildlife. I say blessed with little quotation marks because, although the animals are fun to watch, they love to eat my wife's plants . . . and she has lots of plants.
What my eye had seen that morning was a rabbit, not all that unusual out where we live. Rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks and deer are normal fare for us who live by the state park. We get LOTS of critters. But this rabbit was different. This rabbit was black.
A black rabbit?? Most of the rabbits we get around here are grayish-brown. This rabbit was clearly a different kind of rabbit. We figured it was either a) somebodies pet that had escaped from its cage or b) somebody abandoned the one time cute little bunny out in the country where it could "be free."
Being free sounds wonderful . . . until one remembers that out here in the country we also have coyote, fox and unchained dogs running around lose. A rabbit would make for a wonderful meal on a hot summer's day. Not the friendliest of places for someones pet rabbit. So, my wife and I tried to "save" it. Tried, and failed.
At one point we thought we had it. It had crawled under our sun room, which is open underneath except for some screening around the base. I blocked off every possible means of escape and got into my car and drove all the way into town to purchase one of those live traps - a wire cage with an open end and a door.
I'm sure I broke a few traffic laws trying to get back home as soon as possible so my wife and I could catch the rabbit and still make it to a wedding we had been invited to. Well, that didn't happen. The rabbit was out and about by the time I returned.
I wish someone was recording and documenting our efforts for Animal Planet. It would have made for a VERY funny show. Two grown adults walking around in the back yard, one in shorts, the other in pajamas, the former armed with a fish net and untied tennis shoes. My wife kept talking to it in a voice she normally only uses on our grandson.
At one point I nearly had it when I snuck up behind it back by our shed. I lunged at it with my fish net only to come up empty. I KNOW I heard the rabbit laughing at me.
Our back yard is now littered with dried up carrots and wilted leaves of lettuce. Even a pie tin, once filled with water, is out there . . . somewhere. We tried everything to save that rabbit . . . and we failed.
So, why do we Christians fail to make the same kind of effort when we encounter an unsaved soul in our daily lives? Why don't I go out of my way to tell someone, who is clearly perishing, about the saving grace of Jesus? How come I don't jump into my car, speed into town and spread the Gospel? Good question. And one I could easily hear Jesus asking me when I stand in front of him in heaven one day.
There's this kid I see on Facebook every day. Most of his posts are very frustrating to read. "Getting drunk tonight" or making some disparaging remarks about women and their body parts. He's had a lot of pain in his life so it's hard to be TOO condemning of his actions. Still, if there was someone who needs Jesus on his life, this guy is the guy. This guy is that black rabbit. Elusive, yet incredibly in need of being saved.
So what have I done? I have reached out to him. I do have open lines of communication established but I haven't hopped into my car, driven over to his house and said, "We need to talk."
In my opinion, the status quo is no longer acceptable. Time is growing short. It's time for a new normal. It's time to get up off my blessed assurance and do something. Because the black rabbit in our backyard? It's gone. Long gone.
"Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. “Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.” - Matthew 9:37-38
"but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” - Acts 1:8
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” - Matthew 28:19-20