Becoming Real: 40 Days with the Velveteen Rabbit
Day 35 – Monday in Holy Week – 29th March2010
And then a strange thing happened. For where the tear had fallen a flower grew out of the ground, a mysterious flower, not at all like any that grew in the garden. It had slender green leaves the colour of emeralds, and in the centre of the leaves a blossom like a golden cup. It was so beautiful that the little Rabbit forgot to cry, and just lay there watching it. And presently the blossom opened, and out of it there stepped a fairy.
from The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams
Every so often God sends a fairy into our lives. They do not always grow in gardens, though I freely admit to engaging in early morning conversations with perching robins and scurrying squirrels in our churchyard! Once in a while, in the middle of our own distress, we come to a place which is so heart-achingly beautiful that we ‘forget to cry’. It is the kind of occasion described by the greeting card quotation.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take
but by the moments that take our breath away.
The beginning of Holy Week is a good time to stop our own crying and ponder the beauty of Jesus. Knowing all that lay ahead in this final week in Jesus takes time to be with his friends at Bethany, time to receive the praise of children as he enters Jerusalem, time to prepare his disciples for his departure and unfold to them his pattern of ‘loving one another’.
This is true beauty. Knowing that the end game is about to be played out instead of caring for himself Jesus turns to those closest to him. “In this is love” the apostle John tells us, “Not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4.10).
One of the challenges we may face this week is to not walk closely enough to Jesus. If we are not careful we may concentrate so much on what we have done wrong – the prospect of our own personal bonfires, the despair brought to us by our own failings and forgettings – that we forget to see the beauty which stands in front of us on the Cross.
In the days ahead do two things. First, look at Jesus and say ‘thank you’ for the work he does at Calvary; it is the means by which he wipes away every tear from our eyes. Second, go on a search for your own fairy – she is hidden somewhere in your life and waiting to take your breath away.
God of love,
My prayer is simple:
Your son, Jesus, suffered and died for me.
I know only that I cannot have real strength
unless I rely on you.
I cannot feel protected from my many weaknesses
until I turn to you
for forgiveness and your unalterable love.
Help me to share this strength, protection and love with others.
© Andrew Dotchin – 2018