The Rabbit and the Orange

Most Sundays, I post a brief vignette of the life of Jesus and consider how it relates to our lives. I don’t preach. My goal is both to understand what the writer writes, and what the hearer hears. I leave the what it really means to others, smarter than me, and more bold. It’s impossible for me to write and think about this without bias, and I will address it when I see it. I’m comfortable with Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant theologies, and with some atheist ideals. It was Augustine who said that ‘all truth is G’s truth’ and I gladly sup coffee around that campfire. My Christian belief is an expression of faith, not logic, and whatever I glom onto, I hold loose in an open hand.

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The Rabbit

The rabbit makes me do it. Really.

My pet rabbit Hopalina lives on our back screened-in-porch. Every time I walk out there – every time – she rushes at me, wanting a banana, some hay, or a few strokes between her ears. Who knows: the rabbit mind is an enigma.

West Coast Denn is usually pretty chill, but I’m afraid I’ll step on her or trip over her. So I do what any red-blooded American does and swear at her trying to hurt her feelings enough that she’ll never dart in front of me again. Sometimes, if my hands are full, I invent swear words and threaten to leave the back door open so she can escape and make a fat, tasty meal for a soaring hawk. She doesn’t care a wit and scampers underfoot for more. I feel bad that such rottenness spews from me, but I

’m just a human, and she’s just a rabbit. Not too far apart, really.

The whole episode makes me think of my spiritual nemesis Wayne Dyer and one of his favorite teachings.

The Orange

He starts with an easy question, holding up an orange.

“What happens if I squeeze this orange? If I squeeze it really hard, like this?” He does a not very convincing Hanz and Franz imitation. “What will come out?”

The audience hesitates, thinking it’s too simple, that there must be a trick.

“C’mon,” he says, laughing. “What will come out?”

A brave woman takes a stab. “Orange juice?”

“Orange juice.” He looks mystified. “Orange juice comes out, right? What could be more obvious? Orange juice.”
He keeps going with the same childlike wondering. “Why?” He shrugs his shoulders. “Why orange juice?”

The audience is stumped again, and he answers for them.

“Because that’s what’s inside.”

People bang their fists on their foreheads. “That’s what’s inside,” they say to their husbands and wives. Dyer looks around the room like he’s hoping for something more.

The Rabbit and the Orange

“So, here’s a question:” The audience doesn’t know it, but he’s about to lower the boom. “What comes out of you when you’re squeezed?”

It’s the question that plagues me every time Hopalina scatters under my feet. It’s the question I should ask when I snap at my wife for having the gall to suggest I put sunscreen on before I mow the lawn. It’s the question you should ask yourself when you revel in learning that Sheila didn’t starve herself last summer, but sneaked off to have twenty pounds of fat sucked out.

It’s the question that should never be far from your horizon. It might, for once, reveal to you your propensity to selfishness and greed and sin.

Oh, and lest I finish before explaining it, you are just like an orange. What comes out of you when you’re squeezed, comes out…because… that’s what’s inside of you.

Selah

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By way of explanation, I label myself as an agnostic Christian. I attend a Southern Baptist church and am comfortable with Roman Catholic and Orthodox theology and all kinds of Protestant thought. For Bibles, I generally use the Jerusalem Bible, the English Standard Version, and the Amplified Bible. A favorite verse is Micah 6:8 where the prophet says:

G has already told you what is right and what to do: do what is right, love loyalty, and walk humbly with G.