Becoming Real: 40 Days with the Velveteen Rabbit
Day 22 – Saturday after Third Sunday of Lent – 13th March2010
“Then stretch them out and show me, like this!” said the wild rabbit. And he began to whirl around and dance, till the little Rabbit got quite dizzy.
“I don’t like dancing,” he said. “I’d rather sit still!”
But all the while he was longing to dance, for a funny new tickly feeling ran through him, and he felt he would give anything in the world to be able to jump about like these rabbits did.
from The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams
Reality TV, what do you think about it? Some good? Some bad? Some downright ridiculous! A spoof radio spot recently advertised ‘Extreme Celebrity Brass Rubbing ‘, which sums up the excesses of the format.
However much is good and genuinely entertaining. In the Dotchin household everything stops for any Reality TV show involving dancing. Ballroom Dancing, Ice Dancing, Street Dancing; you name it and Lesley-Anne and I book time on the sofa in front of the goggle box. For me this even extended to ‘Dancing on Wheels’, a show involving couples where one of the dancers was in a wheelchair.
In one episode a wheelchair user, who often used prosthetic limbs, found it difficult to ‘dance’ whilst wearing them in her wheelchair. So she summoned up the courage to remove her prostheses and ‘dance’ without any legs at all – artificial or otherwise. The result transformed her dancing ability as she leant to lean even more on her partner and become the person she was at the centre of her being.
It is all too easy to become less than we are by pretending to be more than we are able to be. Our Rabbit with no hind legs sits firmly in the bracken and denies his desire to dance. Yet all the while wanting to jump and run and spin with the wild rabbits. However he cannot! His circumstances do not permit it. After all his hind legs are ‘all made in one piece like a pin cushion’ and nothing will allow him to dance with the wild rabbits.
But that does not mean that he cannot dance at all. As the ‘Dancing on Wheels’ TV programme shows it was not the limbs (or lack of them) which enabled the dance – it was the decision of the dancer herself. We can dance, even in the middle of a bracken bush, if we only choose to rely on the support of the person we are dancing with and for.
Charles Schultz’s Comic Strip ‘Peanuts’ has one of the world’s best hero’s in the shape ofSnoopy the Beagle. Snoopy has often been compared as a type of Christ figure for the other characters in the comic. Here is one of his most famous sayings:
“To live is to dance,
to dance is to live.”
Where will the dance with Jesus take you today?
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.
“Dance like no one is watching.
Sing like no one is listening.
Love like you’ve never been hurt
and live like it’s heaven on Earth.”
© Andrew Dotchin – 2018