Lessons from the scarecrow

Throughout The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, the Scarecrow is seen as a simpleton character. Literally lacking the brain power needed to function as a human. He sees himself as “less than” valuable. Sure the Tin Woodman is lacking a heart, but he can at least discern when something is needed. Yes, the Cowardly Lion is without courage, but he has the brains to be able to recognize his fearfulness.

The Scarecrow is beaten up. The straw stuffing torn out of him by the Winged Monkeys and his clothes, head, and hat were thrown into the trees. When he is rescued and stuffed with new straw, he continues to allow the others to use him for comfort and protection. He is used as a landing mat in the chapter “the Dainty China Country” by all the other characters.

Yet, when the Scarecrow finally gets his brains, all the Great and Terrible Oz does is fill his head with bran cereal, pins, and needles, to give him “bran-new brains” and “to prove that he is sharp” (p.160). He has new stuffing, but there was no real change.

Each of these three characters, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion has been given a new something to make themselves feel better about who they are, but nothing has really changed. It’s all make up and window dressing. No true internal changes have been made.

When we come to Christ, it is not the same with us.

There is no slight of hand, no pretending to fill us and make us into someone new. When we are filled with Christ, we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) we are born again (John 3:16-18) and we are filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). It is then evident in our actions, reactions, and our interactions every day.

If we were filled with foolishness and bran, it would become evident quickly, our own energies would run down quickly. Would tire of trying to live a life in that way. Instead, we would return to the way we had lived before and anything we did would ultimately be undone.

But when we are powered by the Holy Spirit and seeking to grow in Christ and our relationship with Him, we will naturally show evidence of that growth. Just as the early church grew in Acts 2, we will grow in our faith. We will live out loud the Truth we proclaim (Acts 4:13).

Best Beloved, we have so much more to experience in this life with Jesus. No pins and needles, no fillers. We have the the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 3:22-23). We have the ability to be filled with the Holy Spirit, we have the same ability to walk away from God Himself.

Do you want Oz or do you want God Almighty, the Alpha and Omega? Do you want to be the Scarecrow or do you want the Savior? It’s up to you.

**The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,(Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by L. Frank Baum, J. T. Barbarese (Introduction), William Wallace Denslow (Illustrator)

About gretchenr17

Wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend. Writer, farmer, fellow sojourner... at every turn I learn a bit more about God's wild mercies.
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