Saturday, January 7, 2012

Bold Approach

            I can explain the flashback.
            As a child I had eagerly watched The Wizard of Oz whenever it played on television. Not only that, I had read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the rest of the books in the Oz series by original author L. Frank Baum and also the ones by Ruth Plumly Thompson. (There’s nothing like Wikipedia to jog the aging memory. It even provides pictures of the original covers, making me warm and fuzzy with a nostalgia overdose.)
            Not only that, I wanted to live in Oz. I wanted to be Dorothy. In my mind I was Dorothy. If you doubt my obsession, contact my sister Taffy, the quilt maker. ( A couple of years ago she presented me with a quilt featuring scenes from the movie:  Dorothy walks down the yellow brick road, arms linked with the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion. Ruby slippers and striped stockings stick out from beneath a house. The green-faced witch gazes into her crystal ball. You get the idea. And the back of the quilt is a field of poppies, the magic poppies that made Dorothy and the Lion sleep.
            I was thrilled to receive the quilt. (I would share a photo if I only had a brain.) My inner child would gladly return to Oz in the time it takes to click my heels together.
            The Wizard of Oz was my gateway drug into speculative fiction. Oz made is possible for me to subsequently inhabit Middle Earth, the Alpha Quadrant of Star Trek, the Whorl of Firebird by Kathy Tyers, and some random planets a long time ago in a galaxy far away.
            But that’s a blog for another day. I wanted to tell you about the flashback.
            One Sunday in the Watsontown Baptist Church, I was belting out a Charles Wesley hymn, and sang these lines: 
“Bold I approach th’eternal throne
And claim the crown, through Christ, my own.”
            Suddenly, without leaving the pew, I was back in Oz. I saw Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion quaking as they approached a smoking and flashing image of the Great and Powerful Oz on his throne. The wizard was revealed to be a sham who couldn’t grant any of their requests.               
             I continued singing.
            Wesley probably had Hebrews 4:16 in mind when he wrote his hymn. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (NKJV). I sure had it in mind as I sang it.
            Many believers—and I include myself on occasion—tiptoe nervously to God’s throne like Dorothy and her friends, but God’s Word urges us to approach boldly. Many believers—guilty again—doubt God’s desire or ability to help them, but the Apostle Paul insists God “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV).
            In fiction, Dorothy experienced disappointment when she realized the wizard was a fraud. In real life, believers experience satisfaction when they approach the eternal throne and remember that God is their powerful, forgiving, loving father.


  1. Now, Roberta, I did know about your fondness of THE WIZARD OF OZ and I have seen photos of the quilt. Another wonderful entry on your blog. God bless you. Mari
    Very thought provoking and so, so well written.

  2. Good, fun reminder of how God so desires us to enter into his presence, stand before his throne, climb up onto his lap, knowing we are welcome there as his precious children.

  3. Awesome, Roberta. Love the flashbacks and the application. And a Wizard of Oz quilt? I can only say I wish I had a amazing sister like that. Sounds like a real keeper. Not to mention I wish I had written this piece for my myth blog, :-)

  4. Patty, I bet you could commission a specific quilt from my sister.