Thursday, February 20, 2020

A Lenten Reflection

A Lenten reflection:
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” (King Solomon~ Prov. 4:23)

Did you know the Tin Woodman in the Wizard of Oz was once a real man who was in love with a Munchkin maiden?  

So, while they were walking through the forest, the Tin Woodman told
the following story (to Dorothy and Scarecrow):

"I was born the son of a woodman who chopped down trees in the forest
and sold the wood for a living. When I grew up, I too became a
woodchopper, and after my father died I took care of my old mother as
long as she lived. Then I made up my mind that instead of living alone
I would marry, so that I might not become lonely.

"There was one of the Munchkin girls who was so beautiful that I soon
grew to love her with all my heart. She, on her part, promised to
marry me as soon as I could earn enough money to build a better house
for her; so I set to work harder than ever. But the girl lived with an
old woman who did not want her to marry anyone, for she was so lazy she
wished the girl to remain with her and do the cooking and the
housework. So the old woman went to the Wicked Witch of the East, and
promised her two sheep and a cow if she would prevent the marriage.
Thereupon the Wicked Witch enchanted my axe, and when I was chopping
away at my best one day, for I was anxious to get the new house and my
wife as soon as possible, the axe slipped all at once and cut off my
left leg.

"This at first seemed a great misfortune, for I knew a one-legged man
could not do very well as a wood-chopper. So I went to a tinsmith and
had him make me a new leg out of tin. The leg worked very well, once I
was used to it. But my action angered the Wicked Witch of the East,
for she had promised the old woman I should not marry the pretty
Munchkin girl. When I began chopping again, my axe slipped and cut off
my right leg. Again I went to the tinsmith, and again he made me a leg
out of tin. After this the enchanted axe cut off my arms, one after
the other; but, nothing daunted, I had them replaced with tin ones.

The Wicked Witch then made the axe slip and cut off my head, and at
first I thought that was the end of me. But the tinsmith happened to
come along, and he made me a new head out of tin.
"I thought I had beaten the Wicked Witch then, and I worked harder than
ever; but I little knew how cruel my enemy could be. She thought of a
new way to kill my love for the beautiful Munchkin maiden, and made my
axe slip again, so that it cut right through my body, splitting me into
two halves. Once more the tinsmith came to my help and made me a body
of tin, fastening my tin arms and legs and head to it, by means of
joints, so that I could move around as well as ever. But, alas! I had
now no heart, so that I lost all my love for the Munchkin girl, and did
not care whether I married her or not. I suppose she is still living
with the old woman, waiting for me to come after her.

"My body shone so brightly in the sun that I felt very proud of it and
it did not matter now if my axe slipped, for it could not cut me.
There was only one danger--that my joints would rust; but I kept an
oil-can in my cottage and took care to oil myself whenever I needed it.
However, there came a day when I forgot to do this, and, being caught
in a rainstorm, before I thought of the danger my joints had rusted,
and I was left to stand in the woods until you came to help me. It was
a terrible thing to undergo, but during the year I stood there I had
time to think that the greatest loss I had known was the loss of my

While I was in love I was the happiest man on earth; but no one
can love who has not a heart, and so I am resolved to ask Oz to give me
one. If he does, I will go back to the Munchkin maiden and marry her."
Both Dorothy and the Scarecrow had been greatly interested in the story
of the Tin Woodman, and now they knew why he was so anxious to get a
new heart.

"All the same," said the Scarecrow, "I shall ask for brains instead of
a heart; for a fool would not know what to do with a heart if he had

*We all experience the scars of living in a broken world; how have we allowed them to build a wall around our heart?
*As we keep out the pain from difficult events from the past, are we preventing ourselves joy for today?
*Will “giving up my scars” to Jesus allow us to more fully experience life?