Musings, Quote

Becoming

“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 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.”

from The Velveteen Rabbit

Whenever I read aloud from this portion of The Velveteen Rabbit, I slow down my words, emphasizing each truth like they are melting chocolate morsels. In context, this is part of a dialogue between two imaginary characters, the Skin Horse and the Velveteen Rabbit. In symbol, this is a philosophical–even spiritual–revelation stated in elegant, profound prose.

“You become. It takes a long time.”

Do we ever fully realize our individual impact on others? By the time we “become,” we are often considered past tense. If we are fortunate, we see smiles or hear words of appreciation beforehand. Most likely, it is more fortunate to be oblivious. Because in enduring the time it takes to “become,” one of two things happens. We become more prideful of our accomplishments or–as this quotation describes–we become more humble. To realize our impact inserts pride and negates the fully Real humility without pretense. So, along with the potential of past-tense status, only the humble–through experiencing humiliation–fulfill the prerequisites for “becoming.”

“That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.”

We cringe at the thought of being fragile, edgy, over-sensitive people. Yet, most of us have at least a chip, a point, or an antique notion we wish to protect. Maybe it is when we are willing to reveal our flaws, acquiesce our opinion, or share our idiosyncrasies that we move closer to being Real.

“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 the joints and very shabby.”

The assumption of this statement is to be Real is to be old. Yet, the Skin Horse chose to use the word “generally.” There are exceptions to the age assumption. Many of the most Real people I know are children, especially ones who have faced trauma early in life. Possessing the most important word in this statement outranks the age requirement. That word is bald-faced, eyes-wide-open, flexible, come-as-you-are unconditional love.

“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.”

Seeing the ugly redeemed is a miraculous occurrence. Even within this children’s story, illness and abandonment lead to the Velveteen Rabbit’s ultimate goal. He becomes Real because…

a real tear forms a flower and a fairy turns him into a real rabbit.

Well…yes, but there is more to be understood from this children’s classic.

He becomes Real because of the boy’s belief.

He becomes Real because he lives his purpose even though it means being left outside in the bracken and twisted up in sickbed sheets.

He becomes Real because he returns after being discarded and replaced.

He becomes Real because of what his real tear of sorrow proves.

He loved first.

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.

1 Peter 3:8 NIV

DPChallenge, One Good Thing Every Day 2013, Uncategorized

One Good Thing Every Day: July 11, 2013

Psalm 51:16-17 MSG

Going through the motions doesn’t please you,     

a flawless performance is nothing to you.

I learned God-worship     

when my pride was shattered.

Heart-shattered lives ready for love     

don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.

DPChallenge, One Good Thing Every Day 2013

One Good Thing Every Day: July 7, 2013

1 John 1:9 NIV

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

I admit I felt pride as one of my cousins led worship this morning. When the words on the PowerPoint didn’t match or even project, he quickly adapted. He restarted the hymn. He read directly from his Bible. When it came time to pray, he confessed his own sin of pride when trying to appear as if he has it all together. As he encouraged us to pray and even stand to acknowledge our need for confession and humility before God, I realized how deep the sin of perfectionism runs through our family’s veins. But, I was also reminded of the cleansing power of God’s forgiveness and how He purifies our spiritual DNA, infusing us with His righteousness. I am blessed to be part of my earthly family and humbled to be included in God’s heavenly one.