When Toto Pulls Back the Curtain.
“Sin’s power lies in being undetected.” (Live the Praying Life. Jennifer Kennedy Dean)
A Sunday-after-church ritual began during my junior high years. I’d read the comics then study the TV guide. Cover to cover. Come spring time I had a specific agenda: locate and memorize the date, time, and channel (Easy. There were three) for the showing of my all-time favorite movie, The Wizard of Oz.
You know the scene. With torched broomstick in hand, Dorothy completed the gruesome task of destroying the Wicked Witch of the West. She stood alongside her companions and waited with anticipation for her requests to be granted with a curtsey and respectful “…if you please, sir.” Employing his keen sense of hearing Dorothy’s dog Toto trotted off to the side, curious as to what – or who – was behind that curtain. And with a pinch of fabric between his canines he revealed, not the great and powerful Wizard of Oz but, rather, an ordinary man.
In Baum’s book the wizard explained, “I have fooled everyone for so long that I thought I should never be found out. It was a great mistake my ever letting you into the Throne Room.”
Sin’s power lies in being undetected. To be effective the Enemy needs to remain hidden behind the curtain.
Oz then went on to share his secrets with Dorothy and her friends. “Here are the…tricks I used to deceive you…”
Imagine if I, too, could have him share his tricks with me…
“Here, Mary. Here’s how I got you to thinking you were a terrible mother…” Or, “Here’s how I got you to justify eating that entire container of ice cream…” Or, “Here’s how I got you to think you were way too busy to visit the elderly…” Or, “Here’s how I lied about God’s love for you…your worth in ministry…your ability to forgive the past…your need to be grateful in all circumstances…”
His tactics worked on Eve, too. “Here’s how I got you to doubt God’s goodness. You see, when I told you, ‘You will not surely die’, well, that was a lie. But, hey, I remained undetected, you bought into it. And now it looks like you, Adam, and your descendants will be burdened throughout the ages with tons of laundry to cover your nakedness. How ‘bout them apples?”
Circumstances do not define reality. Much more is going on behind that curtain than what I can see or have knowledge of in the moment. It’s a fierce, heavenly battle. Think William Wallace – not two kids duking it out with whittled sticks. But the great and powerful Enemy doesn’t want me to be aware of him or his capability to mess with my head. He wants me to trust in the illusion of truth while he feverishly rotates the handle of his flashy, image-making machine behind the curtain. His voice booms and hollars, often drowning out the only Voice to which I should be listening, the real great and powerful Great and Powerful.
Last I checked there were no ruby slippers in my closet to protect me along this yellow brick road of life, but I have a brain (though it blinks on and off at times), a good bit of courage, and a fully functioning heart. And I know to keep that curtain pushed aside with the power of truth since sin’s power lies in being undetected.
Thoughts to ponder…
~Like a scarecrow, seek wisdom because the true Truth will set me free from deceit
~Like a lion, pray courageously because the Lion of Judah fights for me
~Like a tinman, love fully because Love’s power is unquenchable, unyielding as the grave.
Having a yippy, snarling and curious doggie along wouldn’t hurt matters either.