The morning sun was just coming up. The early light revealed a world waking up from its long winter slumber. The grass was turning a vibrant green, fragrant yellow daffodils were blooming, and swelling buds were about to burst open on all the trees and shrubs in the neighborhood.
It was Easter Sunday.
Nature’s resurrection each spring seemed perfectly orchestrated to provide the perfect metaphorical backdrop for honoring the Lord’s resurrection. To help augment the metaphorical stage of the miraculous event that occurred on the first Easter, another miraculous event was taking place in people’s very own backyards. During this quiet time of the morning, while everyone was still sleeping, the Easter bunny was quietly and carefully hiding specially decorated eggs for the children.
This Easter bunny prided himself in being able to hide eggs in places that made them a challenge to find. After all, one of life’s big lessons is that finding anything of value requires effort and searching. The busy bunny had just finished hiding his last egg. Suddenly, he was startled by someone behind him shouting, “I’ve caught you!”
The magical bunny turned around to see that he had just been discovered by a young boy.
“I knew it! I knew there was such a thing as the Easter bunny!” said the excited child. Apparently, the boy had gotten out of bed early, put on his clothes, and quietly snuck out the back door in order to get a glimpse of the elusive bunny.
“How can you see me?” asked the magical bunny.
“Because your fur is so white,” answered the boy as if to point out the obvious.
On reflection of the matter, the holiday hare realized that children, because of their innocence, could often see and understand things that are invisible to parents. Caught red-handed in the act of hiding the Easter eggs, the bunny felt the need to explain himself in this awkward situation.
“I am not just a common rodent or lagomorph,” responded the fluffy mythical critter. “I am a metaphor, with real ontological status. I represent a higher-level reality. I am from the spiritual world.”
“Wow! Do you live with real angels when you are not busy hiding eggs?” asked the inquisitive youth.
“Yes, I appear before angels, carrying my special basket, every time they focus their attention on the things that symbolize the resurrection of the Lord. Let me explain by first telling you a great secret,” whispered the bunny.
The inquisitive lad put his ear closer to better hear the rabbit’s hushed voice.
“Every object in the world has a spiritual meaning. So when angels are thinking, objects appear before them that symbolize those meanings,” said the bright bunny. “For instance, my white fur represents the purity of truth. Rabbits are known for their fertility, yet we are also meek and have a humble standing among larger and stronger animals. So we not only symbolize fertility and new life, but that humility is the state of mind that is most fertile for new spiritual life to emerge. Easter represents spiritual rebirth.”
“Does your Easter basket also represent things in heaven?” asked the fascinated child.
“Yes indeed,” responded the smiling rabbit with a quick nose wiggle. “Baskets are for receiving things. An Easter basket represents the gifts that the Lord places in our hearts. The sweet candies represent the sweetness of loving acts. The green grass symbolizes a new activity in our hearts and the beginning of good things that will help our lives to flourish spiritually. Even yellow and purple, the colors of Easter, represent genuine goodness and wisdom.”
“What about Easter eggs? I love to color and help my mom decorate them,” said the wide-eyed boy.
“Easter eggs offer us an especially powerful image of new life. Angels understand eggs as representing the incubation of a new spiritual life within the human heart and will. All the wonderful ways in which Easter eggs are individually decorated represent our personal mental joy of anticipating new beginnings.”
The young boy thought carefully about all he had heard, then asked, “If all this happens in heaven, where angels are, how did these ideas reach all the way down here in my world?”
“The minds of angels and the minds of men and women are closely linked. My presence before the angels of heaven leads to these same ideas secretly flowing into the thoughts of men and women here on earth. That makes me more real than a physical rabbit. If I were not more real, I would not have the unique power to affect peoples’ customs in the mundane world. But my real secret mission is to help people enter the kingdom of heaven,” winked the enchanted bunny.
He then gave the boy the most beautifully decorated egg of all, saying, “I’m here to offer a fun way for people of all ages to become as little children.”