If you’ve followed my blog for several years, you might remember when I shared before and after photos of my oldest daughter’s teddy bear, who had been slightly damaged by a dog when she was staying at someone’s house.
Fast forward six years, and my youngest daughter had a similar issue. Only it was her stuffed elephant Fanta, and the damage (accomplished by her own dog), was a bit more than “slight.”
Yes, that’s an elephant, and those are the pieces she brought me in a plastic bag, asking if I could fix him. She was laughing, assuming he was beyond repair. But I did my best:
He has a few replacement parts and fresh stuffing (and I didn’t replace his button eyes in case they were too much of a distraction for the dog), but overall, he looks pretty good.
He’s well-loved, just like my oldest daughter’s Alfred, and my Raggedy Ann and Polar Pop.
Well-loved sometimes means thread-bare and disheveled.
I’ve always liked the book The Velveteen Rabbit. Love makes us all a bit more real. Yes, I’m aware stuffed animals aren’t real like people, but love seems to make people a bit more real. Maybe a little disheveled and worn, too, but well-loved. And well-loving. The two go together – the love we get and the love we give.
God is love. (1 John 4:8) He’s glad to give it. He’s glad to receive it. And when we give and receive it, we’re well-loved and a bit more real.