Talk about iconic figures! We're talking major talent of the day.
In case you live under a rock and don't know...The Wizard of Oz is a story about a girl (Dorothy) who discovers the importance of family and friends during a whirlwind (literally) trip to a magical land called Oz, where she embarks on a journey to find her way back home. In the course of the film she runs afoul of the Wicked Witch of the West, but is joined by three new friends (the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion) who help her along the way. The movie is filled with music, dancing, and all the things that made movies from the 1930's truly great.
There are many moments I remember from the film (I practically have the film memorized as it was aired every year on television when I was growing up) but there is one that always sticks out the most in my mind.
The scene takes place in the "haunted forest". Dorothy and her three friends are trying to find their way through the scary woods on their way to find the Emerald City where Dorothy is hoping to receive help from a benevolent wizard. The Cowardly Lion is particularly afraid and the others are trying to encourage him to ignore what's going on around him and that there are no such things as ghosts. However, as the journey becomes more scary the Cowardly Lion closes his eyes and begins to declare "I do believe in spooks. I do, I do, I do!"
In fact, he was so intent on his belief nothing anyone said would be considered.
So why am I reciting the tale of the Cowardly Lion's personal assertion in ghosts? Because I have found that quite often this is a similar mantra of people who are intrigued by the paranormal and simply don't want to believe that what we call ghosts and hauntings are actually deceptive spirits masquerading as loved ones or "beings of light".
I was reminded of this last week when I was in Tennessee. I had the opportunity to share my testimony with some teenagers. They were interested in what I had to say but when it came to my past as a medium and ghost hunter they were disappointed when they realized I wasn't going to feed their curiosity.
They were unimpressed with my assertion that "ghosts" (while very real) are not the spirits of deceased humans. It didn't matter that I spoke to them about what scripture says in the parable told by Jesus of Lazarus and the Rich Man (which gives us a picture of the afterlife) or how Paul asserts that for the Christian to be "absent from the body is to be present with the Lord". They argued for their traditional belief in ghosts vehemently. In fact, I was told a few days later that one particular individual resolutely said "I don't care what she said. I believe ghosts are people. It's fun to believe in ghosts".
This experience reflects what I have learned this past year as I've been writing my articles for my blog and sharing my former experiences as a medium or ghost hunter. People will believe what they want, especially when it comes to ghosts. For many, the idea that ghosts are the spirits of human beings is either exciting, scary, or comforting. Take your pick. They simply refuse to believe haunting activity could be related to demonic activity alone.
In fact, many would choose to believe what mediums and psychics have to say about the after life (especially ghosts and hauntings) than the Bible. ..including Christians.Which is why I will continue to tell my story to anyone who will listen and point them to scripture. What they decide is true after that is up to them. Some may continue to doggedly recite their "I do believe in spooks" mantra and that's okay.
Hopefully one day they will stop long enough to listen.