Every time I read The Velveteen Rabbit I cry,
This children’s story about a toy becoming real shakes the deepest parts of my soul.
I see my reflection in its water-colored pictures,
I hear my own life pass by as its pages scrape against each other, moving the story along.
I spent a lot of time sitting on a cupboard shelf,
having forgotten my own splendor.
Thinking that if I were made of tin,
maybe then I’d be worthwhile.
Or that if I had a stick out handle,
maybe then I wouldn’t be passed over anymore, forced to be only a spectator of affection.
Or that if I had things that buzzed inside me,
maybe then I’d be REAL.
One day, I heard a prophet of another way,
he was a well-worn, ragged soul who told me what it was to be REAL:
to be loved greatly
His words scared me.
I was afraid love would wear me to thin and expose my ugly insides.
I was afraid love would make me shabby, only to move on.
I was afraid love would hurt.
Then, ready or not, I found myself in the arms of my Creator.
At first it felt as though He embraced me too tightly, like I couldn’t breathe.
In those moments I would think fondly of the nights on the cupboard shelf
when only moonlight and silence were my companions.
But over the days, and weeks, and years those cold nights became a distant, undesirable memory,
and I began to understand that He loved me. He loved me. He loved me.
He loved me so much that He wanted to spend every waking moment with me.
He loved me so much that He was unable to sleep at night without me beside Him.
He loved me so much that I began to see that my insides weren’t made of sawdust;
that my heart was so much more than a tin cup full of pebbles rattling in my chest;
that I was never meant to be a spectator of affection, but rather a participant in it.
I learned to believe that I was REAL, that I had been all along,
and it was because He loved me and that would last forever.