"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." Romans 1:20

Friday, May 4, 2012

Becoming Real

“Real isn’t how you are made…” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”  --"The Velveteen Rabbit"

The "Velveteen Rabbit" is a classic children's book from 1922 by Margery Williams.  This newer edition is my favorite of the various illustrators over the years:

It's the story about a stuffed rabbit that becomes real to the little boy because the boy loves him.  On his way to becoming real he asks the Skin Horse if it hurts to become real. “It doesn’t happen all at once.  You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby."

Eventually he becomes really real when the nursery magic Fairy kisses him and takes him off to live in the land of rabbits.

Alan Cohen says that the world most people consider real "is fraught with illusions...money, fame, power, sex, and material security."  Those things never really satisfy for long.  How often do people achieve their goals only to feel like it isn't enough.  Cohen says the real world is "the world of kindness, caring, vision, and and service" because these are our divine attributes--our true, i.e., real selves.  

In "The Velveteen Rabbit" the boy's love made the stuffed rabbit feel real, but it wasn't until the nursery magic Fairy kissed him that he actually became a truly real rabbit.  I think those who have looked for a spiritual meaning in this story have missed the point if they do not take the analogy this further step.  Yes, our earthly relationships can make or break our feelings of whether or not we feel lovable and therefore "real" in the sense we are worthy of being here.  But our true worth comes from being "kissed" by God--that is to say, redeemed and thereby made worthy.  It is only then, that we truly become authentic because Christ reconciled us with God who created us to be One with Him.

Father, I prefer Your real world of kindness, caring, vision and service.  Help me to keep my eyes on what is good in this world so that I may be a part of it rather than a part of the illusion.

Link to scripture:  http://mlbible.com/philippians/4-8.htm

Take action:  Reaching Souls

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