The ‘Tin Man’
“I thought I had beaten the Wicked Witch then, and I
worked harder than ever; but I little knew how cruel my enemy could be. She
thought of a new way to kill my love for the beautiful Munchkin maiden, and
made my axe slip again, so that it cut right through my body, splitting me into
two halves. Once more the tinsmith came to my help and made me a body of tin,
fastening my tin arms and legs and head to it, by means of joints, so that I
could move around as well as ever. But, alas! I had now no heart, so that I
lost all my love for the Munchkin girl, and did not care whether I married her
or not. I suppose she is still living with the old woman, waiting for me to
come after her.
body shone so brightly in the sun that I felt very proud of it and it did not
matter now if my axe slipped, for it could not cut me. There was only one
danger–that my joints would rust; but I kept an oil-can in my cottage and took
care to oil myself whenever I needed it. However, there came a day when I
forgot to do this, and, being caught in a rainstorm, before I thought of the
danger my joints had rusted, and I was left to stand in the woods until you
came to help me. It was a terrible thing to undergo, but during the year I
stood there I had time to think that the greatest loss I had known was the loss
of my heart. While I was in love I was the happiest man on earth; but no one
can love who has not a heart, and so I am resolved to ask Oz to give me one. If
he does, I will go back to the Munchkin maiden and marry her.”
Dorothy and the Scarecrow had been greatly interested in the story of the Tin
Woodman, and now they knew why he was so anxious to get a new heart.
the same,” said the Scarecrow, “I shall ask for brains instead of a
heart; for a fool would not know what to do with a heart if he had one.”
shall take the heart,” returned the Tin Woodman; “for brains do not
make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.” Source
The back-story on L. Frank
Baum’s tin woodsman egregiously absent from the movie, is a vivid reminder to
us all to: NOT LOOSE HEART. I was reminded of this when some friends and I were
discussing a chapter in John Eldredge’s book: Waking the Dead.
With the ongoing crush of
bad economic news, discouraging political machinations like the ‘Porkulus bill‘,
and outright fraud and deceit in nearly every corner of public life, it is easy
to become habituated to the demoralizing consequences of our post-modern life
and be lessened by it. Wave after wave,
it pounds and we become hollow, mechanical, and like the tin man, our capacity
for humanness is reduced.
And it is to that battle
that we are currently called: To stand on the ramparts of our own life and push
back against all who would willingly “steal our joy”. Speak loudly against those who gladly diminish
our humanity and shout to the heavens that while we yet breath we have do have faith!
From there, we can crawl
back to life, heal our wounded spirits,
and stand ready at the parapet with a stout heart prepared for the hard
tasks ahead. Our future depends on it, our children’s future depends on it. Our
way of life depends on it.