Small group night #2 was pretty in depth! Here is another excerpt from my book that shows why it is so resounding!
‘It is a classic Hollywood scene: a voice shouts at four frightened souls in possession of a witch’s broomstick. Emerald cauldrons spew flames and smoke into the sky. ‘Come back tomorrow…you ungrateful creatures,’ the Great Wizard yells as his bulbous head floats over a pit of fire.
Then, in the scene’s climatic moment, a mangy little dog pulls back the green drape to reveal a worn-out circus magician cranking levers and pushing buttons.
‘Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,’ the wizard commands them. But the hocus locus is over, the illusion is gone, and it’s time for a frightened girl from Kansas and even the Great Wizard himself to see way beyond the rainbow.
Our freedom surprisingly starts with becoming more aware of the great cover-up. It begins when we accept that all of us have veiled habits, blind spots, and hidden places in our hearts. And whatever the issues might be, we must instigate our very own Wizard of Oz moment that pulls back the curtain on the mischief maker. If we want to be free, we must be aware of the troublemaking con man behind the scenes.
But many of us will only take action against the great and powerful Oz when we can see what he is doing to us, which is of course the tricky part. We can’t see how loss, pain, and unforgiveness pull levers; send us on meaningless witch hunts; and trap us in haunted forests.
Unresolved pain keeps us in a dead life where we are stripped of anything authentic. We protect ourselves with detached ambivalence to guarantee we never hurt again. Our sadness is masked in seething anger, and our daily lives become grinding, shallow, and less than magical. We gut it out and hope one day it might get better.
Some try to fix their hurts by replacing pain with short-term pleasure. Compulsive behaviors like alcohol addiction, self-injury, online fixations, illicit affairs, unrestrained shopping sprees, and the aptly named ‘comfort food’ all see us numbed up and ‘happy.’ Pain has us completely owned.
And though we might not understand what’s going on, thankfully Jesus does–and he is going to deal with it all. He promises us it doesn’t have to be this way.’
Mike Foster, Garry Poole