The pearl in the heart of my heart

see Proper 12 (year A) “hidden treasure”

Magdalene, Caravaggio, 1596, detail

After his father David’s death, Solomon survives the intrigues of his power hungry brothers as well as his own mother’s ambitions for him. And now on the eve of his coronation Solomon enters the tent of the presence to pray.

Solomon hears the voice of the divine Holy One: “Solomon, what shall I give you? Tell me.”

His answer reminds me of the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion. On their journey along the Yellow Brick Road the Oz characters display those gifts most treasured and desired by each of them. The Scarecrow easily solves the problems they encounter with logic and common sense. The Lion spontaneously proves his bravery again and again in the dangers along the way. When challenged about the risks he takes on behalf of others the Lion insists that his noble actions don’t count as courage if he’s afraid while performing them. The Tin Man who claims to have no heart cries and rusts his jaw with compassionate tears over accidentally stepping on and killing a beetle. He explains,

“You people with hearts… have something to guide you, and need never do wrong; but I have no heart, and so I must be very careful.  When Oz gives me a heart, of course, I needn’t mind so much.”*

Each treasured the very gift he already possessed. Each ennobled that gift with profound humility. But somehow, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion still needed to dig up and find and hold in their hands that treasure hidden in the depths of their being.

And Solomon?  “I am a little child, and I don’t know how to come in and go out!” Solomon humbly admits to the Holy One. “Therefore, give me a listening heart,” he says, “so that I can know good from evil and govern your people.” To have survived the intrigues of his father’s house, Solomon already proved his wisdom, his prudence, his extraordinary understanding. That Solomon treasured the most precious gift within him pleased the LORD.

I go to the Holy Place to pray. A Voice asks me my desire: “What shall I give you, tell me?” What do I say?  What would you say?

Help me to find the treasure hidden in the field of my life!  Help me to put away all these distractions and find the pearl of great price you conceal in the heart of my heart.

*L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

4 Responses to “The pearl in the heart of my heart”

  1. claire Says:

    So the gift I treasure is the gift I already have?
    I’m still lost. Aaaaggghhhh….
    But what a beautiful post you wrote here!

    • ammaguthrie Says:

      Oh, silly Claire. Just click your heels together three times…
      Besides, you are not lost… you are always home!
      Thank you, Dear One. -suzanne

  2. Chris Says:

    Your meditation evokes for me Pat Humphries’ song, “Swimming to the Other Side”:
    “When we get there, we’ll discover
    all of the gifts we were given to share
    have been with us since life’s beginning
    and we never noticed they were there.
    All of those who have gone before me
    band together and be my guide.
    Loving lessons that I will follow.
    We’re all swimming to the Other Side.”

  3. elizabeth leborgne Says:

    i love this and it is a confirmation of that all-so-important story from my youth:the wizard of oz. what i also see in the story beside what you wrote so beautifully is the presence of community amongst the 4 protagonists that brought the gift to full fruition. I see the humility as a byproduct of the gift’s flowering.
    thank you dear su

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