Becoming Real: 40 Days with the Velveteen Rabbit
Day 16 – Saturday after Second Sunday of Lent – 6th March2010
He was wet through with the dew and quite earthy from diving into the burrows the Boy had made for him in the flowerbed, and Nana grumbled as she rubbed him off with a corner of her apron.
“You must have your old Bunny!” she said. “Fancy all that fuss for a toy!”
“Give me my Bunny!” he said. “You mustn’t say that. He isn’t a toy.
When the little Rabbit heard that he was happy, for he knew what the Skin Horse had said was true at last. The nursery magic had happened to him, and he was a toy no longer. He was Real. The Boy himself had said it.
from The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams
It was on a retreat at a Roman Catholic Convent in Cape Town where I first became ‘Real’. In the time before becoming a minister I thought that if I did the right things (the retreat was being led by the Archbishop’s Chaplain) I might somehow impress the church authorities and find an easier path to ordination. God, as often happens, had other plans.
So it was that during the final Eucharist of the retreat in the middle of the prayer of confession I felt Jesus stand behind me, wrap me in his loving arms and say ‘Andrew you are mine!’ It was so vivid and, well ‘real’, that I was amazed that no one else had heard Him speak my name. What joy! What happiness and contentment! That evening, as I lay in bed in a futile attempt, to sleep every time I closed my eyes all I could see was the bright lights of Paradise.
Of course my plans did not work out – it took another seven years before I was ordained deacon – but it did not matter. God had called me by name and nothing could change that. Not even grumpy voiced ‘Nana Church’ wondering why on earth God would want to make such a fuss over me.
Some of us meet God in a blinding light on the road to Damascus, others simply grow into a tender relationship as we move from birth to life after life. Whichever form your meeting took, and even if you are not yet sure that you are properly acquainted with God, make space today for you to be wrapped up in those gentle arms and listen carefully as your name is called by the One who makes you ‘Real’.
I hear your invitation, “Come back to me”
and I am filled with such a longing to return to you.
Show me the way to return.
Lead me this day in good works I do in your name
and send your Spirit to guide me and strengthen my faith.
I ask only to feel your love in my life today.
© Andrew Dotchin – 2018