One of my all time favorite and most beloved movies has always been “The Wizard of Oz”. I watched it growing up with my dad. He is a lover of music and musicals, so it was the perfect movie for him to introduce me to as a little girl. As most children do, I always wondered if there could be a world somewhere out there, beyond the rainbow. Another more colorful world than ours? Why not? Little munchkins, a Tin Man, Lion, and a Scarecrow? Sure! I can’t remember when I realized that, no, this was an impossibility. I cherish those early days of “anything goes”! No matter how or when I figured out that these were just things to dream about, the magic of those thoughts has never left me.
If I squint hard enough, I can see Elise all throughout this movie. Her life in general feels like an out of control tornado, tossing and turning her every which way. She has faced head on her own kind of wicked witch. I would love to see the day that the virus that did so much damage to Elise (CMV), would be demolished as if landed on by a falling house, never to harm another unborn baby again! As far as courage goes, I don’t know if she’s actually had that. She doesn’t really have a choice in how to face her hardships. Sometimes I thank God that she isn’t any more aware of her own situation. On a lighter side, I think she definitely shares the sentiments of the Scarecrow. She’s got a brain, but she needs a better one! In this adventure that is Elise’s life, I know that the main prize in the end is for her to one day make it to the Emerald City with streets made of gold!
With all of the beautiful music in this film, the song that truly captures the essence of Elise’s life is “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. I always think of Elise when I hear this song. Not because of Dorothy, the movie, or happy childhood memories. I see the place described as “over the rainbow” as heaven. Those of us who know Jesus and have a daily, personal relationship with Him are the “happy little bluebirds”. I hear Elise’s voice questioning,
“If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow, why, oh why can’t I?”
In other words, just because she can’t think the way we do, understand the way we do, commit herself to God the way we do, does that take away from her having a relationship with Jesus and joining all of us “happy little bluebirds” over the rainbow in heaven?
Something that has always nagged me has been--Does Elise know God? Does she know who Jesus is? The question remains, since she has a soul, but no capacity to make decisions concerning it, will she essentially have a “free pass” into heaven? My confusion over this issue has been tossed into the messy closet of my mind, already full of puzzling uncertainties only to be answered by God himself.
When faced with this confusion, I have gone straight to the source of all answers- the Bible. Among many other verse references, in Romans 1, Paul argues that people who know God and do not follow him are without excuse and will not enjoy eternity in heaven. Since Elise doesn’t have the ability to hear or understand this knowledge, much less submit to it, will she be held accountable for it? This Mama’s answer is no, of course not. What a wonderful comfort to read the words of David in 2 Samuel 12:23 after losing his baby son. He said, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
When I listen to this song, over the rainbow is not a land from a lullaby, but from the Word of God. This land was promised to every soul who came to trust Jesus as their personal savior and invited Him to live within their heart. I think it is safe to say that Elise’s name has already been written in the Book of Life. Whether she knows God in a way created just for her, or whether she has to wait until death to be introduced to her Savior, it doesn’t really matter. All that I care about is that she have the opportunity to live eternity in heaven.
Being over the rainbow for Elise means that, finally, for her, skies are blue, and her dreams will come true. The clouds will forever be behind her. All of her troubles will melt like lemon drops, and she will be taken far above the chimney tops… straight into the waiting arms of Jesus.
(This video was made by my husband. We used my absolute favorite version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Harry Nillson.)