Illustrated by Komako Sakai
Unpretentious, compassionate, and real. I use the word “real” to describe our congregation,
You might remember the book “The Skin Horse” by Margery Williams Bianco. In it, she narrates a chat the old wise Skin Horse is having with the Rabbit, a newcomer to the nursery. The Rabbit is trying to figure out who he is, how to be loved by a child, etc. —
The Skin Horse says that being real is: ‘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,’ asked the Rabbit, ‘or bit by bit?’
‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time.’
I guess you could say that in a “microwave” culture that wants everything yesterday, our church would be more off a “crockpot”. Slow-cooking, but wonderfully good. Vanilla swirl rather than flavor of the week. Jesus is not in a hurry to make us “real” , to make us more like Him. We try to give each other the space needed to grow more into His Image. This takes time, discernment, love, and care. Like Jesus, while we are intentional, we are in no hurry.
If you are on a quest to be real and don’t mind being around people on this journey, I think you would like our church!
— Pastor Bob Manuel