My son came to me last night with his new story book named “The Secret to Teddy’s Happiness”. He is always excited to read a new book with pictures. It’s one of my favorite activity too to read him stories at bed time after a long tiring day. I was excited to read a new story (I too enjoy reading children’s stories!) for him as he sat on my lap.
This story was unlike any other children’s stories I have ever read. It caught my attention and made me think deeply about it.
One night, while all the house was sleeping, the toys in the playroom discovered an old abandoned bear that the children had found. Its fur was tangled and its ears were worn. It looked like the most messy and unhappy teddy bear that ever was.
The toys cleaned it up and found the bear some clothes. They made a small bed out of whatever they could find, and set it by the toy box in the playroom.
But despite all their efforts there was a problem. The shabby old bear seemed just as sad as when they had found it. “It’s his heart”, said the giraffe, ‘it’s broken. That bear needs more than clothes and a comfortable bed to sleep in. It needs to feel happy again.”
So that night, the toys decided to find the secret to Teddy’s happiness.
They caught a train, and then a plane….
And sailed on a carpet sea.
They searched the playroom and hunted around. But they could not find the secret. Then the friends encountered a rabbit who knew everything that was to be known. But the little velvet rabbit had longed for one thing since the day it was fashioned and sewn. “I will tell you the secret”, said the kind little rabbit, “if you bring me a star of my own.”
So the adventurous toys went in search of a star in a rickety old toy car.
They found some hanging in the baby’s room, attached by strings to a luminous moon. “I will give you a star,” whispered the moon, “but then, you must shine a light upon me so I can glimmer again.”
So the brave little toys went in search of a light as all the clocks in the house struck midnight….
They found one on an island by a sleepy old lion, but the lion wanted something in return.
“It is cold on this island,” said the sleepy old lion, in a slow and slumberous yawn. “But I will give you this light if you bring me a scarf that will keep me nice and warm”
So the toys set off in the moonlight to search for a scarf and along the dark murky hallway, down a mountain steep, they found one, piled up with some coats in a heap. Then the party of friends returned to the island and wrapped the scarf around the lion’s mane.
Then they shone the light upon the luminous moon to make it glow and glimmer again. After taking the star from the moon, they flew to the bookshelf on a rocket ship where the little velvet rabbit lived all alone. They presented it with a tiny star, the one which he could call his own.
Then the rabbit revealed the secret and with an air of cheerfulness, uttered three tiny words into the shadowy gloom – the secret to Teddy’s happiness.
So they caught a train then a plane and sailed the whole night through, with three tiny words for a sad old bear. The three magical words….WE LOVE YOU!
Story time was over and we set off for our bed, but as I lay down to sleep, this story wouldn’t slip out of my mind. “How true it is that we all long to hear the magical words sometimes to revive our shabby spirit”, I thought to myself.
Everyone longs for one thing and it’s someone to understand the secret to their happiness, especially in those miserable, troubled and chaotic times when they just can’t keep up with life. They want their friends, their family, or their spouse to know without being told that they want to be felt loved. All they want to hear is these magical words that they are loved, cared, valued, understood and accepted.
The Word of God tells us to encourage one another. We are called to share God’s love with others; those who are broken, messed-up with life, lonely, abandoned and rejected. Maybe they are our friends, colleagues, our relatives, our spouse or children. There are many around you who are fighting their battles alone. There are people sitting in the church next to you with minds fighting a worse fight and hearts burdened with sorrows. There are people in your work place who need to hear one magical word of hope and assurance or just an appreciation. Your magical words can make a difference in their lives to cheer them up and help them find their secret of happiness.
Is there anyone near you who is feeling miserable today? May be your spouse, your friend, your child, your co-worker or your neighbor? Would you speak the magical words to them?