Murder and Mercy in a Momma’s Heart

A baby bunny that had fallen in our egress window well.
A baby bunny that had fallen in our egress window well.
Sweet Baby Bunny

It is funny to me, how quickly we can change our minds, based on situations. For a person like me, that seeks consistency of character, it can be rattling. Most of us desire to do the right things for the right reasons. Often, we have differences of opinions about what is right. Or even if we agree on what is right, we often are confused or do not agree about how to put convictions into practice.

Murder, for example, is wrong. Yet, I believe murder is in our hearts. Given the right set of circumstances, many of those who believe they would never murder, would. Perhaps, even I.

Our yard and neighborhood is overrun with rabbits. It is a rabbit safe-haven and our yard—a pet free zone—is a rabbit sanctuary. They have eaten things this year that they’ve never touched before. Even our tomato plants fell victim. My husband grew up with a country mind-set, to shoot the villains, in order to spare the garden. He threatened. Our young daughter Anna protested! I sided with Anna. Besides, it would be illegal in town anyway, and I think he was just venting. I think.

Oh how things change in a hurry! When we went to the garden shop, Anna purchased a pricey perennial with her week’s allowance. It was a beautiful, fully blooming, bright orange lilly. We proudly planted it, front-and-center, in our front bed. You can guess what happened. Sadly, it was a bunny brunch.

I told Anna, and when she saw it, I could feel murder in her heart. She was ready to kill those rabbits. The line had been crossed and all was not well. I felt so badly for her. You don’t want your children to experience painful things, even if it’s only a purchased and planted beauty, destroyed by a furry flee-bag. Truthfully, in that moment, I probably had murder in my heart as well.

Why is it then, that when I saw a scared, trapped, baby bunny, that I immediately thought of rescue? We just finished watching a movie, and as I went to turn on the light, this sweet little bunny was looking in the basement window at me. I called for Anna to see it and of course, we were ahing and cooing at its adorable-ness as it pawed at the window in front of us. It was trying to get in and out of its pit. I asked my husband to rescue it. NOPE! No sympathy there. I wonder if he would have let it starve to death and die?!! I couldn’t. Terrorist rabbit in the making or not, it was a baby and I am a momma.

We got heavy gloves and I climbed the ladder down and captured the bunny, then released it…into our backyard asylum. I cannot reconcile the desire to kill the rabbits one moment, then knowing that I cannot live with letting one die the next. I know that my mother’s heart compelled me to save the baby and I couldn’t play out the timeline and look at that baby as a villain in days to come.

As hard as it is to understand God’s directives in the Old Testament (in some cases) to kill every living thing after a victory, I do, in principle understand. If you take out the horror and emotion, what you have left is 100% guarantee of no influence of the enemy–little or big, EVER–for harm! I’m not sorry I rescued the bunny. But, it made me think of the “baby” inconsistencies in my life. Those “little things” I can’t kill off, even though I know they will grow up. Then what? Then they cause me and others harm. Maybe there is to be mercy and grace for living things–the things that still have potential for good, but murderous attitudes toward those things that bring damage and destruction.

The heart is a complicated thing. I’m so glad I don’t have to figure this out on my own. God searches my heart and knows all my ways. He rescued me and rescues me still by helping me with my heart condition. And gratefully, whether murder or mercy, He covers me and gives me asylum.

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