When we were young, and through out our childhood, most of our lives revolved around our church and our faith. Friends from church were the friends we grew up with. Friends who shared our faith were the girls we shared our lives with, giggled about first loves with and stood up with when we married. The activities we were involved with during the week were usually on Wednesday night at church when we would have choir practice and missions study. And another afternoon for piano lessons. Sometimes Mom or Pop would have a class meeting or Brotherhood group. They had other interests, as well,but the main focus of our lives was Jesus Christ.
Therefore, from the time we knew what was going on…we knew Sunday was church day. We went Sunday morning and Sunday evening and that was that. There was never any plans made to do anything different. Unless we were sick, we were there. But, that wasn’t a BAD thing…we loved church and the people there. And, all our friends were there, too. It was where we wanted to be.
There was one night, however, every year when we were allowed to stay home on Sunday night. It was for the yearly showing of “The Wizard of Oz”. Now, in those years, this show was THE show. It was a big deal when it came on. There were no DVR’s or DVD’s or BluRay or anything. You saw it when they played it once a year. They would begin promoting it early, so there was never any idea as to when the one showing for the year would be.
Pop would stay home with us. Oh, but it was much more than staying home and watching a show together. It was a ‘tradition’. Mom would fix us supper early before she went to church. And, she would set it up in front of the TV so we could watch while we ate. That was a treat in itself. Then, when the show started Joy and I would sit and watch and try to sing the ‘Rainbow’ song with Judy Garland. Pop sat back in his recliner and watched with us….and watched us.
Joy would start off beside me but when things started getting scary with the witch and the flying monkeys and the hour glass…Joy would be gone. And, Pop would have a little body in the chair with him. And, she would be crying.
I was never really scared…it was just make believe…and I knew it wasn’t real. And, so did Joy. But, there was always that point in the show when her feelings of fear for Dorothy would take over her sense of reality. And, she believed. And, she cried and Daddy was there for her to remind her that it wasn’t real and that she was just fine.
And, the next year…the same scene would play out. And it did until we quit watching. (Betcha Joy would still cry today, though, if she were to watch)
I don’t remember when it was that we stopped. I suppose we grew out of it and had other things going on at the time that we were involved with. Perhaps, they just stopped showing it. But, we watched it long enough that it became a special time between Pop and us that was etched forever in our hearts. We mention it all along when something brings it to mind. And laugh, again, at Joy’s tears.
I was unable to attend church today because I was sick, so after Charles Stanley went off, I was flipping through the channels. I came upon ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ It was stuck on an obscure channel…and there were no special announcements telling the viewers it was coming on. It played through and they showed the credits and started it over immediately. No big deal…just play it over and over. I suppose that kids today would probably not find it very exciting. The very primitive special effects would seem boring, I’d imagine.
But, for two little girls and their daddy, just hearing the words ‘The Wizard of Oz’ brings back sweet memories and cherished time together. It reminds me that my daddy knew what was important. Our first allegiance was to the Lord and that I knew well. But, he knew that little girls need a little fantasy. They need the excitement of looking forward to spending a special evening with their daddy. And, they need a safe place to run to when the flying monkeys of the world show their ugly little heads.
Joy and I and Adam and Pop will be leaving on Tuesday for Birmingham. Pop will have surgery on Wednesday morning, and after seeing the doctor again on Thursday morning, we will be coming home, God willing. This eye that will be operated on is Pop’s good eye. He has no discernible vision in the other eye, so he is understandably nervous. We are putting our trust in the doctor’s capable hands…but our faith is in God. He has led us to this point…He has put no stumbling blocks in our way, as we prayed He would if this was not wise…and He has given Joy and I peace in our hearts about the procedure. Please keep us in your prayers.