One of my favorite books is the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams. It is a story about a stuffed rabbit who is loved by a boy…it is about his journey to become REAL. Here is an excerpt.
“What is REAL? “, asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle? “
“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. “
“Does it hurt? “ Asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt. “
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up, “ he asked, “or bit by bit? “
“It doesn’t happen all at once, “ said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen 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 rubbed off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand. “
“I suppose you are Real? “ Asked the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.
“The Boy’s Uncle made me Real, “ he said. “That was a great many years ago, but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts forever. “
Some of the things I love the most about this book are about being Real…about being loved…and about having my eyes popped out and my hair rubbed off…and about being Real lasting forever. For me, most of my life, I did not feel Real. Nor did I feel loved. You notice, I said I did not “feel” loved. I was loved by a lot of people. But I didn’t feel it. That was the message of the enemy ….that I was unloved and insignificant. I kept trying different things to make me Real. I thought when I got married I would feel Real. That didn’t work. I thought, well surely when I become a Mom, I would finally be Real. Nope. Still empty. So I moved on…I thought maybe I just needed another relationship to make me Real. More money? Nope. I just kept searching. Then I wasn’t searching anymore. I was out of Hope. No one was coming for me. And I would never be real. That is what I thought. I thought the problem was with me. But in 2004, when I gave my heart to God, HE made me real. He gave my life significance. He called me beautiful. And my being beautiful doesn’t have anything to do with what I look like on the outside. Yes, my hair is rubbed off and my eyes are popped out and I am loose in the joints. But I am still beautiful. The writer of Veleteen Rabbit was right in this sense. “…once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts forever. “ Thank you, God, for making me Real.