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Just like Dorothy . . .

I never put the two together before.


All Dorothy wanted was to go home. Leave the Wonderful World of Oz, all bright, shiny, and gold, and return to black and white Kansas.


So many adventures she had! And the friends she picked up along the way—Scarecrow, Tin-Man, Cowardly Lion. And she wanted to swap all that glitter for grayscale. Really?


In the end, we find she had it in herself all along. All she had to do was tap her red slippers and say the magic words, “There’s no place like home.” Glenda couldn’t be the one—it could only be Dorothy.


Christian mystic Meister Eckhart said, “The seed of God is in us.” What does that mean?


Several years ago, I attended a bible study with an elderly gentleman, Charles. The scripture was from John 15. “I am the vine; you are the branches.”


“By extension, belonging to the vine of Jesus, I am he,” Charles said.


“I can’t claim that,” I muttered in disbelief. “I am not holy.”


“But if you’re on the vine with Jesus, doesn’t he make you so?”


I frowned. Living in glitter and gold.


“Source of all, savior, Holy Spirit, we welcome your presence at the Center of our being. Letting go of all else, we surrender in love to you . . . “


This morning my Centering Prayer mantra circles my head. Thomas Merton, Julian of Norwich, St. Mother Teresa, Teresa of Avila. What did they have in common? The realization, the answer to the question St. Paul posed two thousand years ago in his second letter to Corinth, “Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?”


And they didn’t need ruby slippers.


I see the scenes in Ukraine and my heart hurts for the people, our people. Do they realize that Jesus Christ is in them? That the seed of God rests in their very hearts? What of it?


And what of their Russian neighbors, whose fearless leader sends young soldiers to bury themselves in the radioactive trenches of Chernobyl? Not the least of innumerable atrocities.


Is there any clicking of our friends heels for a way out?


“. . . Let our sacred word be a symbol of your loving presence and healing action within.”


Could we possibly be like Dorothy, and have healing action within? Could peace begin in each one of us and extend like the branches on the vine? Can we reach beyond borders, oceans, and international political bodies of little consequence to offer hope, assistance, refuge?


As we travel this Holy Week, perhaps at the end of the yellow brick road of Lent, may we be like Dorothy, and find our own home—whatever color, shape, texture it may be for each one of us, nurturing that ever important seed. To grow beyond ourselves, stretch, connecting to others.