Becoming Real: 40 Days with the Velveteen Rabbit
Day 14 – Thursday after Second Sunday of Lent – 4th March2010
And so time went on, and the little Rabbit was very happy–so happy that he never noticed how his beautiful velveteen fur was getting shabbier and shabbier, and his tail becoming unsewn, and all the pink rubbed off his nose where the Boy had kissed him.
from The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams
Last Sunday I was given the special joy of baptizing three girls – two babies and an eight year old by the name of Hermione. Hermione, as eight year old girls are wont to do, brought several friends to her baptism and the party afterwards. One of Hermione’s friends brought along (and this should not have surprised me at all) her favourite toy – a cloth rabbit!
This rabbit was originally (I think) pink in colour with a white tummy, but it was rather difficult to tell under all the grime of the little girl’s love for her toy. True to form the rabbit’s left ear had become loose and was hanging on by a thread. Something which did not seem to concern the girl one bit and the rabbit’s nose was decidedly the worse for wear. Needless to say I suggested she ask her parents to read her the story of the Velveteen Rabbit – I hope they do.
I think (I hope!) that there comes a point in the journey of each Christian where we learn that God loves us simply because God loves us. True love has to be more about who God is than what we are. We do not need to always be or look ‘really splendid’ as we may have done once. God loves us whether we are pretty or ugly, tidy or scruffy – though if we journey far enough we will always try to be our best in front of our Divine Lover
After all was not the rabbit’s changed appearance due to the fact that he had spent time in the company of the boy? The rabbit was being transformed because the boy had hugged with, played with, snuggled up to, and caressed him.
How do other people see that we have, like the early disciples, ‘been with Jesus’ . Here is a clue to answer that question. It’s not likely to be about how we handle ourselves but more about how we have allowed ourselves to have been handled by God.
Sometimes my heartturns in every directionexcept towards you.
Please help meto turn my heart toward you,
to gaze upon you in trust
and to seek your kingdom with all of my heart.
Soften my hardened heartso that I might love others
as a way to glorify and worship you.
Grant me this with the ever-present guidance of your spirit.
© Andrew Dotchin – 2018