We’re Not In Kansas Anymore

A pastor of a church I worked with in Pittsburgh wrote about visiting with a member who was dying of a terminal illness. The man had a favorite phrase he used with his wife over the years. When they faced challenge or even frightening times he would say to her, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.” You may recognize the phrase. In the “Wizard of Oz” Dorothy says this to her dog Toto when they are blown into a strange and frightening land. The man told his pastor why he used the phrase–“Dorothy and Toto were onto something. Most extraordinary experiences have been the frightening ones.” But, he explained, “the scary times are the ones when you learn the most about yourself.”
I see a lot of people filled with fear. There’s fear about the economy (job loss, mortgage payments, retirement years). There’s fear about what climate change means to God’s creation. Fear about the inability of government leadership to work together and lead the country forward.
What are we learning about ourselves? We are learning that some people look for others to blame, someone to label as an enemy, and then attack. Some become immobile and withdraw into a shell. Some, however, look at scary times and search for God’s presence, God’s guidance, God’s greater will. They seem to believe that there is One, greater than we, who seeks the redemption of all creation.
I’d like to think I am part of this last group. But, I know at times I can be found in all of them.
We’re not in Kansas anymore. But, “the scary times” are when we learn the most about ourselves. That could be a good thing. What do you think?

Leave a Reply