26 October 2009
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always very 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 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 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."
I don't know whether Margery Williams intended to teach us all a great spiritual lesson through her beloved children's story, but she certainly did. Sometimes it hurts to let yourself be loved for real. It takes a long time, and you won't look the same anymore. But once you've been loved that way, you don't mind being hurt or looking shabby.
Such is the process of holiness for us. We're not supposed to be satisfied to merely believe; we are to pursue holiness. We were never meant to hold private beliefs that are for our own good only. If we will begin to practice devotion, we'll soon find out what it means to be loved and to be real.
Please read on...