If a tree falls in the forest and I am not present to witness the event and no one tells me that it has fallen, did it really fall? Is it laying on the forest floor even now or is it still standing tall? What is real? What is true? Do I “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” and instead look only at what is set before me to see, pre-approved for my viewing, hearing or reading by, by who? the man behind the curtain pulling all the strings, manipulating all the machinery, to create the illusion that was Oz? – an illusion that can control me – an illusion that controlled Dorothy and her friends until they saw the truth and lost their fear.
There’s a line from the 2003 movie, Legally Blonde 2, which is quite telling. The character, Rep. Rudd, (a congresswoman) says to Elle, the heroine, “the people will care about what we tell them to care about.” That’s chilling, isn’t it? And this movie was eighteen years ago. Has this always been true? – will I believe what I am told to believe – what I am told is true rather than what I actually experience in my daily life, in my daily reality? When the curtain is finally pulled back, revealing “the man behind the curtain” complete with sound effects, smoke and mirrors, Dorothy and her friends finally see and know the truth and are set free. Truth has a way of doing just that.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)
Turns out, the great and powerful Oz was just a little man operating some noisy contraption complete with visual and sound effects, all the while hiding behind a curtain in a lonely room in a heavily guarded palace. Tell me this little tyrant was in touch with the world outside his window – oh, that’s right, the Wizard of Oz lived in a windowless room behind a curtain making lots of noise and issuing edicts for other people to obey – people he didn’t know and would never meet – until Dorothy and her friends demanded an audience and learned the surprising truth of Oz’s real identity. Today we call this phenomenon the “ivory tower” – referring to out of touch people who spend their lives making rules for other people to follow – people they will never meet because ivory tower people don’t live in the world the rest of us inhabit. They have isolated themselves with their money (which came from where?) providing that curtain of separation which they hide behind.
Woe to anyone who dares demand that the curtain be pulled back so that we might see for ourselves just who dwells behind it. That would take courage and perseverance and come at too high a personal cost, who would risk it? Dorothy and her friends, scarecrow, tin man and lion, did and they eventually got the curtain pulled back, resulting in a happy ending for them. But this is real life, not a fairy tale.
So today I am left to wonder, are there trees lying even now on the forest floor? Just because I am not there to see them and no one has told me that they are there – does not mean that they have not fallen. I wonder if the news today has a kind of “if a tree falls in the forest” attitude? If they do not cover/report on an event or a situation, that means (as far as they are concerned) it did not happen or that it is not an existing reality at this present time. Someone, somewhere may have seen the trees fall, but the voice of the great and powerful Oz, silences all other voices. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,” we are told. Because if you do, you do so at your own peril.
What to do? I want to search for the truth, but I am told there is no truth. We now live in a “post-truth” world. I am supposed to live my truth. But my truth does not lead me to anything or to anywhere good. Actually, I have to confess – I am not sure if “my truth” is any kind of “truth” at all. I need an objective standard of truth outside of myself. Proverbs 3:5-7 tells me to –
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”
Trust in something or someone other than myself? Yes, I can trust my Heavenly Father. He will “lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:24) He will lead me to the truth because He is the Truth!
“Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ ” (John 14:6)
In Psalm 119:160, David tells me that truth is found in God’s word –
“All Your words are true; all Your righteous laws are eternal.”
I also have been given the gift of God’s Holy Spirit to guide me in my search for truth. John 16:13 reassures me of this, when Jesus tells His disciples,
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.”
I have a guide on my journey through the land of Oz and the forest of fallen trees – indeed Matthew 10:26-28 tells me,
“So do not be afraid of them. There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
Dorothy and her friends were finally able to see behind the curtain that concealed Oz from the world. They were no longer deceived and afraid – they had found the truth! and the truth set them free! The day of truth is coming dear readers, for me and for you.
“Now I see through a glass darkly, but then I shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
“And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it.” (Isaiah 40:5)
we will not be disappointed on that face to face day, when the curtain falls away and the Truth is revealed –
sincerely, Grace Day