Becoming Real: 40 Days with the Velveteen Rabbit
Day 20 – Thursday after Third Sunday of Lent – 11th March2010
While the Rabbit stared hard to see which side the clockwork stuck out, for he knew that people who jump generally have something to wind them up. But he couldn’t see it. They were evidently a new kind of rabbit altogether.
They stared at him, and the little Rabbit stared back. And all the time their noses twitched.
“Why don’t you get up and play with us?” one of them asked.
“I don’t feel like it,” said the Rabbit, for he didn’t want to explain that he had no clockwork.
“Ho!” said the furry rabbit. “It’s as easy as anything,” And he gave a big hop sideways and stood on his hind legs.
“I don’t believe you can!” he said.
“I can!” said the little Rabbit. “I can jump higher than anything” He meant when the Boy threw him, but of course he didn’t want to say so.
from The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams
‘Is it well with your soul?’ was one of the questions frequently asked of me by my father-in-law, Noel Hendry. One of the gentlest men I have ever met, he never meant it as an accusation or challenge to my faith but saw it instead as a working out of the faith he himself had learnt in the Methodist Class meeting – a church in which he was a Local Preacher.
Like the rabbit, in response to these words, I was often full of protestations about my abilities and beliefs and, if I am honest, I was occasionally offended. Not that he ever intended any offence – all he ever did was care for me. Too often I chose to take things the wrong way around and as a consequence it took me a longer time to begin to grow to any kind of maturity in the faith.
Once we can learn that God works differently with different people, a simple truth but one often overlooked, we are able to be set free to work on our own journey and no longer be envious of the journey of others.
I suppose each of us can fall into the temptation of the apostle Peter at the Lakeside after the Resurrection. Jesus calls us to follow but instead of obeying we are worried about what Jesus is going to do with the apostle John! ‘What is that to do with you…?’ Jesus tells us again and again, ‘You must follow me’.
It is impossible for any one of us to follow another person’s vocation. Each of us needs to be able to come to a place where we are content to be obedient to that which God asks of us and not long for the ‘green grass’ of the ministry of another.
God calls us to do that which we can do not the things we cannot do. It may be tempting to jump and run as others may be called to do, but that is their call not our own. ‘What is that to you’ Jesus reminds us, ‘you must follow me’.
God of infinite love,
I thank you for this reminder of your love
and your call that we be more patient,
gentle and compassionate with others.
Here in the middle of Lent,
I turn to you to beg for your help.
Please soften my heart.
Help me to let go of judging others.
I ask you this, in Jesus’ name.
© Andrew Dotchin – 2018