Posted by on March 31, 2023

I’ve not actually read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but thanks to my daughter, I’ve got a new catch phrase I’m hoping to use the next time I’m in a jam. Do you remember those scary monkeys who did the witch’s bidding?

In the movie, the witch sends the monkeys to get Dorothy and her friends. According to my daughter, the book has more to say about the monkeys. Those poor little guys are actually under a curse which makes them serve whoever has the magical hat (the golden cap). You’re probably familiar with the part where the witch orders the monkeys to attack Dorothy, but in the book, Dorothy gets a hold of the cap and uses the monkeys to get her and her friends out of several jams.

Monkeys ex Machina

My daughter referred to it as “monkey ex machina” (like deus ex machina the literary term). Deus ex machina means god from the machine and refers to last-minute help from an unexpected and unlikely place to solve the problem and save the day.

So I figure the next time something awful happens and I need help, I should just say “bring in the monkeys” and even though help might not come, I can at least smile to myself at being clever. Of course, I tried this today as I sat drenched in my own tears and facing the fact I might need more therapy, and it did nothing to cheer me up.

Mumbling Mush

I’m on a writing retreat with dear friends who love me and want to help me get to the next level, but the road ahead of me looks impossible. Not only do I need to work on my writing, but I also need to tell you about it and engage strangers enough to lead them to my words. That’s really hard for me. I literally melt into a mumbling pool of mush practically every time someone asks me about my books. Okay, not really mush, but it’s not pretty.

So, bring in the monkeys. Maybe those little guys are marketers and can get people to post reviews for my book. (I just pictured a bunch of flying monkeys carrying For the Good of All in their sneaky little hands. That made me smile.)

Refined by the Fire

But it’s not that easy. Deep wounds that leave us struggling to be confident cannot be overcome by a bunch of make believe monkeys. And you know, even though God could fix it out of the blue, with no work from me, I don’t think he will. Not because he doesn’t care. It’s the opposite of that. He loves us too much to give us the easy thing. Sometimes the road we have to walk is lonely, and hard, and feels impossible, but once we’ve traversed to the other end, we see it was the best way. We arrive a new person, stronger, closer to him, and more alive than we’ve ever been before.

If you’re in one of those places, hold on to Him. Don’t let the therapy scare you or the people looking at you or the scary unknown. You might have to walk through the fire, but you will not go alone. God will be with you (and He just might bring monkeys.)



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