Becoming Real: 40 Days with the Velveteen Rabbit
Day 4 – Saturday after Ash Wednesday – 20th February 2010
The model boat, who had lived through two seasons and lost most of his paint, caught the tone from them and never missed an opportunity of referring to his rigging in technical terms. The Rabbit could not claim to be a model of anything, for he didn’t know that real rabbits existed; he thought they were all stuffed with sawdust like himself, and he understood that sawdust was quite out-of-date and should never be mentioned in modern circles. Even Timothy, the jointed wooden lion, who was made by the disabled soldiers, and should have had broader views, put on airs and pretended he was connected with Government. Between them all the poor little Rabbit was made to feel himself very insignificant and commonplace, and the only person who was kind to him at all was the Skin Horse.
from The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams
As we grow in Christ we learn the sad lesson that the church (God’s Toy Cupboard) can be a difficult place to live. The separation between church denominations is a scandal which diminishes the breadth of God’s love and when Christian thinks themselves to be more superior than others the world cannot hear the message of the Gospel because of the noise Christians make.
It is all too easy to look down on other Christians and churches presuming that they have not quite got things right and how understanding it is of God to love people such as ‘them’.
A useful exercise for the next time you sit in church or a gathering of Christians may be to learn to gaze on each one present with the eyes of Jesus – learning to love them deeply and without condition.
Experienced Christians may want to examine the language they use in front of others. Do I use too many big words just to show-off that I know their meaning? Do I look down on people who come from different backgrounds to me and think that they are not quite right?
If you are feeling left alone by other Christians (something which may happen several times on the journey to heaven for many people) look around for the ‘Skin Horse’ God has brought into your life and give thanks for them.
The house of my soul is narrow;
enlarge it that you may enter in.
It is ruinous, O repair it!
It displeases Your sight.
I confess it, I know.
But who shall cleanse it, to whom shall I cry but to you?
Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord,
and spare your servant from strange sins.
St. Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430)
© Andrew Dotchin – 2018