Running Away, Coming Home

Once there was a little bunny who wanted to run away…

…”Have a carrot,” said the mother bunny.

The Runaway Bunny

I’ve read these words hundreds of times to nieces, nephews, and sons. I’ve admired Clement Hurd’s black and white sketches and full color illustrations with many toddlers, their little hands pointing out the little bunny in his boat, flower, and fish disguises. I’m on my second copy now – the first was loved to tatters before my younger son turned two.

I’ve read these words to hundreds of Sunday school children and their parents. I’ve read them to hundreds more sitting in pews in half a dozen churches. It’s one of the best interpretations of Psalm 139 I’ve ever found, and the simplest. Like the little bunny, most of us try to run away from God’s love and care, changing identities to avoid the holiness of our unique lives. Fortunately, God comes looking for us, bringing us home.

If you have the time, read all about the little bunny who wanted to run away. Pull out your Bible and look up Psalm 139, the grown-up poem about the same thing. Take God’s hand and come on home.

O Lord, you have searched me and known me…

You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways…

If I take the wings of the morning and settle at the farthest limits of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me…

I come to the end – I am still with you. Psalm 139:1, 3, 9, 18b NRSV

Brown, Margaret Wise; The Runaway Bunny (New York: HarperCollins Publishers), 1942

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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