Ga-linda, the not-so-good

In the movie, The Wizard of Oz, I remember Glinda the good witch being this puff of pink that wasn’t involved much in the story except to bestow the ruby slippers on Dorothy for killing the witch and send her on her way to Oz. Granted, it’s been years since I’ve seen the movie, so my idea of her may be a bit vague and incorrect. But, I love how Ga-linda (yes, with a Ga) is portrayed in the musical Wicked.

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In the musical, Galinda is the popular girl in school who likes pink and always looks like she has her life together in perfect order. Even though she treated Elphaba like the plague when they first became roommates, her perfect façade quickly fell away as she got to know Elphie and the two of them became the best of friends. Until, of course, all of Oz turned against Elphaba and Galinda was thrown into the spotlight as the sudden hero of all Oz. With the people looking to her to lead, she had to look the part of perfection and continue to lead in the hunt for the wicked witch.

In a recent blog post, I asked if you had ever felt like the wicked witch of the west. In the same vein, I ask, are you more of a Galinda, or just a Galinda wannabe perhaps? I say wannabe, because, who could be Galinda anyway? She’s perfect. She’s popular. Her hair is blonde. She travels by bubble. Her fiancée is captain of the guard. What’s not to love about her?

But, underneath all the fluff and glitter, she’s not as good as she appears to be. She betrayed her best friend for fame, and she knows the stories they’ve been telling about Elphie aren’t true. But what’s a girl to do? She has the standard of perfection to uphold.

I wonder how many of us have felt like that Galinda. Everyone having one idea of how you portray yourself on the outside, but never really knowing or seeing the war that’s going on beneath the surface. I don’t know about you, but I have felt like Galinda the not-so-good many times in my life. Being a Christian, that’s sometimes an extra hard burden to bear. Growing up in the church, you always have a certain standard to uphold or expectation to meet. And being a believer, you often strive to meet those standards and expectations. But how many of you go home after church or Bible study and feel you are living a lie or half a life, or even a double life?

I confess, unlike the song in the musical, I am that girl. With different things going on in my home life, I have come to feel very much like my life was a façade. Always putting on the happy smile at church or work and pretending like everything is fine. Feeling like I could never share what was really going on out of fear of what people would think of me, and of my family. Always feeling like you have to keep your true feelings and hurts and wounds inside because you don’t want to destroy the perfect vision people have of you.

Taking it deeper still, living with the deep darkness of a secret sin you have kept so buried your entire life, that if discovered, everyone who knows you would be completely shocked and probably be ready to take up stones to flog you to death for such unthinkable, unmentionable things you have done or thought. You no longer feel like the sweet, beautiful fairy everyone thinks you are. In fact, you’re probably feeling a little more like Jekyll and Hyde right about now.

Luckily, for you and me, the story doesn’t have to end there, and it didn’t in the musical. When Elphaba’s life was on the line, Galinda found her and in one of the most beautiful songs of the play, they sang about how they had been changed for the better because they knew each other. All was forgiven and their friendship was mended. I can tell you from personal experience that you too can be mended. For years I was racked with guilt and shame over the things I thought. And, even though the Bible says if we confess our sins, He will be faithful and just to forgive them, I was sure He was getting tired of hearing me confess and ask forgiveness for the same sordid sins over and over and over again. But believe me, God’s love is far greater than we can ever imagine and He didn’t just send His Son to save us, He sent His Son to change us.

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If you have given your life to Christ, your old life holds no power over you anymore. Your past guilts or mistakes or problems, whether self-inflicted, or inflicted by others, can no longer control you. The only power they hold over you is the power you give them. It may seem like they are still holding onto you and you will never break free, but the truth is, they have already been destroyed and overcome. We just have to realize that we are already free and let those imaginary chains fall away as we walk forward in our new life in Christ.

Don’t let your Galindo not-so-good, or your Mr. Hyde, whichever the case may be, control your life. Let the love of Christ dwell in you richly and live in light of your salvation.