Talking with a Stuffed Animal

April 10, 2020
By Matt

My mother bought me a giant stuffed animal named “Bunkie” when I was seven years old. He was about half the size of me at the time and covered in soft golden fur. My mother bought him because I had issues falling asleep. I had issues because I would think about horrible things while laying in bed. Thoughts that were self-deprecating, scary and downright unwholesome.

That night, mom put Bunkie at the foot of my bed and said, “Tell him whatever you are telling yourself.” I looked at her and blinked. That was such an odd request. So I tried it.

The words caught in my throat. I had no problem telling myself self-deprecating things; but when it came to telling someone else – even a stuffed animal – I couldn’t do it. Mom picked up on it and asked, “If you wouldn’t tell it to a stranger, why would you tell it to yourself?” So every night, part of my routine was telling Bunkie every single thought that entered my head – and when they sounded vile, I knew I should throw them out.

Over time, I replaced Bunkie with the Word of God. I now keep certain verses close to my heart. A cornerstone verse has been Phillipians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” I have it pasted on my bathroom mirror just in case I ever forget.

Keeping your thought life true and pure is important during normal circumstances, but it becomes paramount during times of crisis. Thoughts are the foundation of our actions so if you harbor thoughts of malice, you will act in malice instead of love. If you harbor thoughts of fear, you will act in scarcity instead of bounty. These thoughts make your worldview shrink and your focus turn inward.

But if you entertain thoughts of generosity, grace, benevolence, kindness, and gratitude – your worldview expands and turns outward. It’s like snowboarding or riding a bicycle. What you look at is where you go. So look at good things!

As you navigate your current crisis – whatever that might be today – I hope you take a moment to entertain good things and be thankful for what you do have. One way to do this is incorporate more “feel-good news” into your daily ritual. With so many people struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, I thought it might be good to share a couple of stories that warmed my heart and gave me hope.