Becoming Real: 40 Days with the Velveteen Rabbit
Day 31 – Wednesday after Passion Sunday – 24th March 2010
And so the little Rabbit was put into a sack with the old picture books and a lot of rubbish, and carried out to the end of the garden behind the fowl-house. That was a fine place to make a bonfire, only the gardener was too busy just then to attend to it. He had the potatoes to dig and the green peas to gather, but next morning he promised to come early and burn the whole lot.
That night the Boy slept in a different bedroom, and he had a new bunny to sleep with him. It was a splendid bunny, all white plush with real glass eyes, but the Boy was too excited to care very much about it. For tomorrow he was going to the seaside, and that in itself was such a wonderful thing that he could think of nothing else. And while the Boy was asleep, dreaming of the seaside, the little Rabbit lay among the old picture-books in the corner behind the fowl-house, and he felt very lonely.
from The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams
A moment’s reprieve? A final night of being ‘real’ before meeting our end on the bonfire. And once again, but this time with no chance of rescue by Nana, he is left alone. The Boy has moved on and dreams of the new experiences of life ahead of him and not even a bright shiny new bunny can distract him.
In our pilgrimage of faith this is a common experience. People grow and change and leave. By definition pilgrims are constantly on the move. Part of pilgrimage is a sequence of comings and goings, greetings and leavings. In-between these times, if we are blessed, we will have moments of sweet fellowship bringing growth and grace to everyone.
Then people move on. Some go on to visit the seaside but some are (or so it seems) left behind the fowl house with the old books and some other rubbish. What did we do wrong that they felt they had to leave? Did we say something to upset them? Did we do something which made them feel they could no longer walk in fellowship with us? Who knows? All we will know for sure is that we are sitting in a pile of rubbish feeling very lonely.
In the middle of this dark time (and some of us may know this feeling all too well) the only thing we can do is hold onto the One who walked the journey of this life and, at the end, was left alone by even His closest friends.
In this Passiontide take your times of loneliness – past or present – to the One who was left alone in the Garden of Gethsemane and deserted at the Cross. Speak to the One who was so lonely that he made the heart rending cry ‘My God, my God, Why have you forsaken me?’ And in your conversation with Him know that, because of His love, we may sometimes be lonely but can never be truly alone.
I am just beginning to realisehow much you love me.
Your son, Jesus was humble and obedient.
He fulfilled your will for him by becoming human
and suffering with us.
I ask you for the desire to become more humble
so that my own life might also bear witness to you.
I want to use the small sufferings I have in this world
to give you glory.
Please, Lord, guide my mind with your truth.
Strengthen my life by the example of Jesus.
Help me to be with Jesus in this week
as he demonstrates again his total love for me.
He died so that I would no longer be separated from you.
Help me to feel how close you are and to live in union with you.
© Andrew Dotchin – 2018