My favorite movie as a girl was The Wizard of Oz. One of the networks always aired it on a Friday night in the fall. So every Saturday towards the end of the summer, I would find the TV guide section of the newspaper and check the listings for Friday night. We had no VCR, no blockbuster, no netflix. If I missed it, that was it for a whole year. Missing it was not an option.
I remember the night before the movie came on, my knees would ache and I couldn’t sleep for all the excitement. I loved the music, especially the quick, high-pitched chorus that played when they first glimpsed the Emerald City right after the snow wakes them up in the poppy field….You’re out of the woods, You’re out of the dark, You’re out of the night! Step into the sun, step into the light!
I idolized Dorothy…her dark, swiss cake roll ponytails that changed lengths drastically from scene to scene; she was patient, loving and kind; her voice, her dress, her dog. She was beautiful and perfect.
I’ve thought about this movie a lot as I have grown up. The Scarecrow wanted a brain, the Tin Man, a heart. The Lion longed for courage and all Dorothy wanted was to find a way home. They followed yellow brick roads, ran from flying monkeys and even risked their lives to get the broomstick of the Wicked Witch just like the Wizard asked them to…who really was no Wizard at all. They did it all because they longed for something they did not have. In the end, though, we learn along with them that they had it all along, they just didn’t know it.
After all, the Scarecrow was often the one to devise all the plans, the Tin Man rusted from crying real, heartfelt tears and the Lion found the courage to save Dorothy all before they even met the Wizard. Dorothy was the most obvious of all. She couldn’t take a step without being aware of those shiny, ruby slippers. Still, when she finally sees Glenda, she cries out for help and is told she’s always had the power to go back to Kansas. The slippers she had had all along were the very means by which she would make her way home.
But she didn’t know it.
I can relate. As a believer, sometimes I find myself living a defeated, burden-filled life, unaware of the victory I already have in Christ.