With Halloween this week, I thought this would be a great Sunday movie to feature since it has witches, a scarecrow, and some rather dapperly dressed flying monkeys.
Supposedly the most-watched movie in history, The Wizard of Oz has delighted, enchanted, and hopelessly terrified children for generations. (I carried around a cup of water until I was 17 just to be safe.)
It was nominated for a bunch of Academy Awards but lost basically all of them to Gone with the Wind. It did, however, win Best Original Song for a little tune called “Over the Rainbow.” (But where do you even go to find matching monkey apparel?)
The film starred Judy Garland (Meet Me in St. Louis), Frank Morgan (Broadway Melody of 1940), and a host of other characters that include Billie Burke (Glinda), who was in a couple of other great old Halloween flicks called Topper and Topper Returns.
OH, SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW: I was going to make a joke about the creepy way the witch says “Poppies” during the poisoned flower scene, but when I wrote it out it the way she said it, it looked like “Pooooooooppies” which made me want to pronounce it “poopies” and then I started giggling like a little girl. And then I wrote this. And I still don’t know how to dress evil monkeys.
Many people in the last 100+ years have attempted to apply various political, social, or economic interpretations to L. Frank Baum’s story. Only Baum knows what hidden meanings are in this story, if any at all. (Heaven forbid it just be a fun children’s book.)
Personally, I see this movie as a simple reminder of how little we think of our own potential. The scarecrow, tin man, and lion already had the brains, heart, and courage necessary to rescue Dorothy, they just didn’t recognize it until they got a few symbolic trinkets from the wizard.
It can be difficult to recognize the gifts God has given us, especially when we don’t feel like we’re living the way we should. Perhaps you yourself wonder if you’re measuring up to what the Lord or your loved ones expect of you.
From one tragically imperfect human to another, let me tell you this: You’re doing better than you think you are.
You are loved, and you are needed. And no matter what you’ve done, or what you think you lack, all the Lord asks is a broken heart and a contrite spirit. He wants all of His children to come unto Him, and if that’s the direction you’re moving, then that’s progress to be proud of.
As you make an effort to develop the gifts and talents you’ve been blessed with, and to change what needs to be changed in your life in order to become what you know you can become, you will make it home.
And truly, there’s no place like home with your Father in Heaven.
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” — Hebrews 10:35-36