The highlight of my Easter season, when I was a child, was watching the nail-biting TV movie, “The Wizard of Oz.” I remember my tears flowing as Dorothy handed Toto over to Miss Gulch on the bike. But today, I look at this Academy Award Nominated motion picture in a different light. From a Christian writer’s perspective, the underlying message and morals in this movie are phenomenal! Let me take you for a walk down my yellow brick road…
Dorothy was a character on a soul-searching mission. She was an orphan, adopted by her aunt and uncle in Kansas, yet she appeared to have a deep-rooted longing to find a true home. Insecurities plagued her because she didn’t fit in with the older relatives, and a mean Miss Gulch wanted to take her only friend, Toto, away from her. Auntie Em became frustrated with Dorothy’s antics and yelled, “Find yourself a place where you won’t get into any trouble.” Dorothy picked up Toto and said, “Is there such a place Toto? Not a place you can get to by boat or train.”
Aren’t most of us looking to fill an empty spot inside our soul – a place where there isn’t any sadness? Always seeking, we get mixed up in wrong relationships, addictions, and false idols. When we finally accept Jesus Christ into our hearts, we soon realize we have everything we need daily; and it’s not a place you can get to by boat or train.
But, Dorothy, like so many people, run from their problems. A tornado swept her from safety, and she entered another world. Her only path home was down the yellow brick road. The Good Witch of the North, Glinda, warned her to never venture off its path for darkness loomed in every corner. What a great metaphor! We must walk through life on God’s golden road only for Satan will quickly invade if our guard is down. Temptations of sin can fog a mind when difficulties become overwhelming; prayers are the answer to tackle the troubles. Seek God first before using your own solution.
The central theme of the movie centers on Dorothy’s quest to go to the Emerald City; she sought the Wizard of Oz’s help to take her back to Kansas. Along the way, the Wicked Witch of the West and her minions attack her and her friends. This is so like Satan trying to intervene in our life! By the end of the film, Dorothy discovered the Wizard was a phony, a false idol if you will. She is devastated until Glinda (her guardian angel, perhaps?) magically came to her rescue. “Dorothy,” she said, “You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.” What lesson did she learn from the whole experience? A heart’s desire isn’t any further than your own backyard (or in my case, a bible). The love and acceptance she wanted were always at her doorstep.
The moral of Dorothy’s story is God’s power makes our life fantastic for He is greater than any physical object or place we seek on our own. As we come to know Jesus Christ, we understand He promises to guide us because the love for His children is eternal. When we resist the enemy, we draw closer to Him, and He becomes our home. The solution to our problems is right under our nose.
SCARECROW AND A BRAIN
The first friend Dorothy met on the yellow brick road was the happy-go-lucky scarecrow who wanted the Wizard to give him a brain. It’s quite funny, often throughout the movie, he acted as though he had a brain and common sense. How frequently do we take action as if we don’t have sense? We beat ourselves up for the mistakes we make along the way and we lose forgiveness in the shuffle of stupidity. God forgives us our sins so why hold on to regrets? Did you ask God to clear your heart and mind of all the clutter which pulls your progress down? Did you diligently pray for forgiveness?
At the end of the show, it’s quite ironic the Wizard actually did not fulfill the scarecrow’s wishes. He only gave him a diploma of higher thinking. This character simply lacked self-confidence. The Scarecrow sought a higher power to confirm he could be smart. Little did he know, confidence comes from a relationship with Christ. Yes, we must be secure in God’s Word and not in our flesh. He gives us hope in times of adversity.
THE TIN MAN AND A HEART
A second character who befriended Dorothy was the rusted Tin Man. He wanted the Wizard to give him a heart, hence emotions. The Wizard of Oz told him “a heart will never be practical until it is made unbreakable.” The Tin Man quickly learned what a broken heart was when he said goodbye to Dorothy.
Suffering hearts is a common thread among humanity. We have to trust God has a better plan for our life, thus healing us from the inside out. He replaces the feelings of rejection and abandonment with a sense of renewal. All we have to do is pick up the Bible and allow His words to soothe our soul. Once we connect with Jesus, everything changes and nothing or no one has the same power over us again. God forms a shield to protect our innocence.
THE COWARDLY LION AND COURAGE
Onward to Emerald City, the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and Dorothy trotted arm-in-arm. Suddenly a large curly-haired lion jumped out from behind a tree and tried to scare the trio. The ferocious lion growled and snapped at them until Dorothy slapped him. “You should be ashamed of yourself!” The lion quickly retreated behind his own tail and cried. Throughout the movie, his fear reared its ugly head. Could the great Wizard give him courage?
We sometimes experience scary situations in life – perhaps bullying, roadblocks, and other fear factors. Hard times are unavoidable, but we can count on God to pick us up, dust us off, and help us through these failures. An important message from this is Satan instigates fear. My favorite saying is, “Where there is fear, there is no faith.” Let us rely on God for strength to conquer our personal battles for He is always in control and will not abandon us. Be of good courage for the Lord is with us every step of the way!
OUR CHRISTIAN WALK
The Wizard of Oz, though not written with religion in mind, can teach us about our Christian walk with God. We should examine our relationship with the Lord and strive, every day, to be more like Him. Draw on the intelligence of our brain; maintain a heart open and sincere and pray for the courage to stand up for our belief. If we stray along the way to the Emerald City, known as heaven, our Lord Jesus Christ will be there to lift us up. Just as Dorothy had to “learn it for herself,” our journey helps us grow to be the best Christians we can be for eternal salvation. Everything we need is in the power of God, not the ruby slippers.
The next time you watch this excellent motion picture, look for the hidden Christian parables – you will be amazed at how many you’ll witness!