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Velveteen Me…….on becoming “REAL” or genuine.

When I was a small child, my parents divorced and I lived in a household of 4 generations.  Great Grandmother (Nannie) Grandparents (Nana & Pop) Dad and Diana (older sister) and I.  These years were very good for me and somewhat an enchanted period in my life.  I was happy, secure and well cared for and loved.  Nearly every night, we had a bedtime ritual of Nana tucking Di and I into bed and reading to us before prayers.  Every night some book of childhood Nursery tales was brought out and read aloud.  Diana & I (usually freshly washed) would lay at the foot of our beds and Nana would read about distant kingdoms and far away places.  One of my favorites and she read it to us more than once was “The Velveteen Rabbit“.  If you have never read it, you should. 

In synopsis:

A boy receives a Velveteen Rabbit for Christmas. The Velveteen Rabbit is snubbed by other more expensive or mechanical toys, the latter of which fancy themselves real. One day while talking with the Skin Horse, the Rabbit learns that a toy becomes real if its owner really and truly loves it. The Skin Horse makes the Velveteen Rabbit aware that “…once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.”

When the boy’s china dog is misplaced, the Velveteen Rabbit is given to the boy as a quick replacement by the maid. The Velveteen Rabbit soon takes his place as the boy’s constant companion. The Rabbit becomes shabbier, but the boy loves him no matter what. In the woods near the boy’s home, the Velveteen Rabbit meets actual rabbits, and learns about the differences between himself and the real rabbits when the real rabbits prove he is not real by his inability to hop and jump.

The Velveteen Rabbit’s companionship with the boy lasts until the boy falls ill with scarlet fever. The boy becomes too ill to play for a very long time; upon his recovery, he is sent to the seaside on doctor’s orders. The doctor orders all the toys the boy has played with, including the Rabbit, be burned in order to disinfect the nursery. The boy is given a new plush rabbit and is so excited about the trip to the seaside that he forgets his old Velveteen Rabbit. While awaiting the bonfire, in which the Velveteen Rabbit will be burned, the Rabbit cries a real tear. This tear brings forth the Nursery Magic Fairy. She tells the Rabbit that he was only real to the boy, and then brings him to the woods and kisses him, making him real to everybody. He soon discovers that he is a real rabbit at last and runs to join the other rabbits in the wild.

The following spring, the boy sees the Rabbit hopping in the wild and thinks he looks like his old Velveteen Rabbit, but he never knows that it actually was.

In the story there is a line that I love: Skin Horse to Rabbit

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “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. 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.”
Margery Williams Bianco (The Velveteen Rabbit)
This quote cuts to the quick and describes my cancer experience.  Without a doubt, I am a bit shabbier and my hair has definitely been loved off but all of it has made me REAL.  It has also made me be willing to BE REAL.  To be unabashed at times to say what needs to be said in love. MORE REAL.   Willing to bare myself in order to help another soul……MORE REAL.
I say bring it, make me MORE REAL each day.  My utility and purpose only becomes more clear as I become MORE REAL………..Little old Velveteen me!!


“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.”

Romans 12:9-13 New Living Translation Bible


3 thoughts on “Velveteen Me…….on becoming “REAL” or genuine.

  1. At Ann’s request,
    The Velveteen Rabbit learned though suffering that it is not our outward appearances that make us who we are but our unseen souls which no one in this physical realm can see….but God can. These physical bodies will pass away as will all things material. In this sense if we live for the physical we live in a delusion. The Velveteen Rabbit only understood this after he was transformed. The skin horse did not know of the transformation. He thought that reality came extrinsically riding on the back of love. However as we see no matter how hard the boy loved the rabbit it was only an illusion in the end and did not result in becoming real. Satan makes these same claims as he whispers in our ear that fame, fortune and power will make us real. Excessive exercise, certain looks and clothing these things make us real. However those who have been on the journey and have thought deeply about these things realize that none of this suffices. The Velveteen Rabbit found this out in the end and was transformed not by anything he did but by Grace! This Grace lives within each of us through the Holy Spirit and the faith that God has given us as a gift!
    Yours in His Love and by His Grace as we journey together,
    “On Eagles Wings Ministries”

    1. Amen and very well said Dave. I love that story and it always was a favorite of mine from my childhood but I really did not “get it” until my cancer experience. I have always been an attractive package physically but through my cancer, God is making me BEAUTIFUL!!
      These are two totally different things.
      Thanks for sharing…….. 🙂

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