Becoming Real: 40 Days with the Velveteen Rabbit
Day 10 – Saturday after First Sunday of Lent – 27th February2010
There was a person called Nana who ruled the nursery. Sometimes she took no notice of the playthings lying about, and sometimes, for no reason whatever, she went swooping about like a great wind and hustled them away in cupboards. She called this “tidying up,” and the playthings all hated it, especially the tin ones. The Rabbit didn’t mind it so much, for wherever he was thrown he came down soft.
from The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams
Is there a ‘Nana’ in your spiritual life? Someone who, like a whirlwind, organises everything for everyone, regardless of the consequences for others, so that everything is neat and tidy – well in her view of life anyway. For some of us ‘Nana’ may not be a single person but instead a whole organisation. On occasion the Church can appear somewhat ‘Nana-esque’ in stature. Sweeping into our carefully crafted relationship with God and throwing everyone together – bruising and breaking some in the process. On other occasions the ‘Nana’s’ behave as if we do not even exist and ignore us, step over us or even on us! Though we may not enjoy being picked up and tidied away, it is good to have someone in authority take an occasional bit of notice of us!
It was with great joy that I swore ‘due and canonical obedience to the Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich and his successors’, but I do know that sometimes the Nanas in our lives can appear to be more of a nuisance than an inspiration. However as the story of the rabbit unfolds, it will be seen that Nana is around to do more than keep things tidy. In the later pages of the story it is Nana who gives the rabbit to the boy, who hunts for the rabbit when left outside and who takes the rabbit on the final journey to freedom.
Organised religion can be painful but mostly it is God’s instrument for good. Over this day (and tomorrow as you attend worship) give thanks for the Church in which you worship. Pray for those who find its rules and hierarchy a little too challenging and are sometimes hurt by the ‘tidying up’ which comes with organisation. Give thanks if you find yourself to be someone who ‘comes down soft’ when thrown – ask for the gift of patience if you do not.
you who breathed the spirit of life within me.
Draw out of me the light and life you created.
Help me to find my way back to you.
Help me to use my life to reflect your gloryand to serve others
as your son Jesus did.
© Andrew Dotchin – 2018