Church of England · Churches Together in Britain · Felixstowe · Lent · Sermon · The Velveteen Rabbit

Becoming Real – Day 26

Becoming Real: 40 Days with the Velveteen Rabbit

Day 26 – Thursday after Mothering Sunday – 18th March2010

To Read:

Weeks passed, and the little Rabbit grew very old and shabby, but the Boy loved him just as much.  He loved him so hard that he loved all his whiskers off, and the pink lining to his ears turned grey, and his brown spots faded.  He even began to lose his shape, and he scarcely looked like a rabbit any more, except to the Boy.  To him he was always beautiful, and that was all that the little Rabbit cared about.  He didn’t mind how he looked to other people, because the nursery magic had made him Real, and when you are Real shabbiness doesn’t matter.

from The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams

To Reflect:

Do you love your mirror?  Many of us use a mirror to make sure we don’t look ‘too shabby’ before we go out to meet the world, which is good and proper.  Some of us may, Narcissus like, spend more time doing this than is healthy. Occasionally I spend just a little too much time in front of the mirror and then turn away quickly.  Those are the days I definitely do not love my mirror.

It seems as if the mirror, when I allow it, wants to tell me more about myself than simply my physical appearance.  I don’t always want to look deeply into the mirror – it hurts.  When I am brave enough to look deeply I see that it is not just the outside of me which has faded and turned into a shapeless lump but often something of my insides as well. I suspect that even people who are called ‘beautiful’ might feel these kinds of doubts about their inner beauty.  It would not be surprising, if we were honest, that many people it difficult to be faced with a true picture of themselves?

Fortunately God’s vision is much deeper and purer than ours.  We may see the blemishes of the soul but God only sees a heart in need of love. We, along with others, may deem ourselves to be ugly and unworthy, God only ever sees beauty in us – grey ears, faded brown spots and all!

Another one of Amy Grant’s songs, ‘Father’s Eyes’*, speaks of the way we should seek an inner beauty borne of living God’s way.  We should learn to be content in the knowledge of God’s love for us. Once secure in that loving gaze then we can live for God and be God’s eyes on the world.

We know that it is God’s love for us which makes us ‘real’ and far more beautiful than whatever confronts us in the mirror.  If we could but learn to look at others with our ‘Father’s Eyes’ then we too would have a share in God’s work of making others – no matter how ugly they may think they are – to become ‘real’.

 

To Pray:

Lord,
what you ask of my life seems so right.
It is how I want to live,following your Son, Jesus, so closely.
And yet I fail so often to stay on that path.
I cannot do it alone, loving Lord.
I need your help and guidance.
I need to remember your love for me
and I want to remember
how very much I need you in my life.

 

* Father’s Eyes– Amy Grant

I may not be every mother’s dream for her little girl,
And my face may not grace the mind of everyone in the world.
But that’s all right, as long as I can have one wish I pray:
When people look inside my life,
I want to hear them say,

She’s got her father’s eyes,
Her father’s eyes;
Eyes that find the good in things,
When good is not around;
Eyes that find the source of help,
When help just can’t be found;
Eyes full of compassion,
Seeing every pain;
Knowing what you’re going through
And feeling it the same.
Just like my father’s eyes,
My father’s eyes,
My father’s eyes,
Just like my father’s eyes.

And on that day when we will pay for all the deeds we have done,
Good and bad they’ll all be had to see by everyone.
And when you’re called to stand and tell just what you saw in me,
More than anything I know, I want your words to be,

She had her father’s eyes,…….

© Andrew Dotchin – 2018

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