Little Orphan Annie

As many of you know, I’m an actor.

And one of my favorite roles I ever played was Annie.

Yes, yes, your red-headed, optimistic orphan was portrayed by Yours Truly. A couple of times.

But I mean, come on. You can’t not love that show. It’s like the original Hallmark movie: set in NYC during Christmas, cheesy dialogue (Leapin’ Lizards!), and of course, a feel-good ending.

It’s got Hallmark written all over it.

Now, I could dissect the lyrics of “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.” I mean, let’s be real: that’d be a pretty appropriate topic for a recovery/hope-spewing blog.

But, you all are smart people and I’m not here to waste your time. I respect you too much.

I’m here to talk about…Daddy Warbucks.

Yep: your bald headed, capitalism-loving, millionaire softie.

Now. Quick recap, in case you live under a rock and have never seen the show/movie/atrocious 2015 remake where they ADDED SONGS -_- #DontMessWithTheClassic #CarolBurnettForLife

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Only joking, only joking….kind of.

But a recap in one sentence: Little orphan Annie goes to live with grumpy Oliver Warbucks as a PR stunt to soften his image; and in the mean time, she melts his heart and He ends up adopting her and becoming Daddy Warbucks.

Yes, the music is great, there’s a dog, and the story line pulls at the heart strings. But I think what really captivates the audience and makes people fall in love with the show, is the relationship between Annie and Daddy Warbucks.

And I have a theory for why that is, aside from the fact that I looked cute in a red wig. 😉

I think that deep down, all of us want a Daddy Warbucks.

Hear me out. Annie is an orphan, living a “hard-knock-life.” An orphan. All her life, she has internalized that she was not wanted. Not loved. Her parents left her on a doorstep of an orphanage, because they didn’t want her.

That, my friends, is a wound. And a deep one at that.

But let’s be really honest here for a second: isn’t that our greatest fear?

Isn’t that something that trails us around? Am I lovable? Do I matter? Am I wanted?

And this little orphan is swept up into the arms of Daddy Warbucks, who falls in love with her, exactly as is. And showers her with all the delights money can buy: new clothes, trips to the movies, a beautiful mansion, presents, delectable foods — you name it. But at the end of the day, none of that mattered. “I don’t need anything but you.” Isn’t that all we long to hear? To know? That we are loved and are good. And worth loving?

It chokes me up every time I watch that show, because this little orphan, whose very existence communicated that she was unwanted, found someone who loved her unconditionally. She had nothing to offer. No way to earn it. Hell, when she arrived at the mansion, she started doing chores, only to be stopped. She didn’t have to work in order to earn anything. Daddy Warbucks just loved her.

It’s beautiful.

And it can be our story too. 

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I’m gonna keep this brief, so as not to get preachy, but Daddy Warbucks is like our Heavenly Father.

So many of us live with that fear of being unwanted, being unlovable. For me, that fear was that in order to be loved I had to be perfect.

But we long for someone to come in and validate us and alleviate those fears. Which, if left unresolved, leads so often to destructive behaviors. For me it was anorexia. But there are other things too: maybe we try to fill that hole with another addiction. Or promiscuity. Or designer clothing or shoes. Or busyness. Or gambling. Or being manipulative to people. Or lashing out. Or shutting people out completely.

There is validation to be found. And it is in the arms of our Father. He wants to delight in us. He wants to shower us with love and show us that we, in fact, are loved. Wanted. Valued. Worth loving. Worth saving. Worth adopting.

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He wants to be Daddy Warbucks for me and you.

Yes. You.

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So put down the mop and bucket. There’s no work to be done here at the Warbucks Mansion.

And I promise, “I think you’re gonna like it here.” 🙂

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156 thoughts on “Little Orphan Annie

  1. Thank you so much for visiting my blog and liking what was a follow-up to a series of posts written by my dog who is wondering where our son is. He is off at the Australian Scouting Jamboree for 10 days and the poor dog keeps looking for him. He’s a Border Collie and I can see him thinking “I count 3 humans. Should be four”.
    Here’s a link to the previous post which ties in so well with the story of Orphan Annie: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2016/01/10/dog-hijacks-weekend-coffee-time/
    When I write from my dog’s perspective, I can express emotions in quite a different way and through his eyes addressed what is among a child’s greatest fears. That their parents really don’t love them, as portrayed through the dog’s interpretation of events. I grew up feeling this way at times myself and my son echoes my own pain at times. We are currently painting his room and I’m going to decorate it for when he gets home. Hopefully, that will fill his love tank for awhile.
    Well done on playing the role of Annie. Lovely to meet you. My daughter recently audfitioned for the role of Marta in the Sydney production of the Sound of Music. She didn’t get it but she’s dipped her little toe in the world of showbiz. She actually has a stomach condition and has been very underweight. She was all bones for awhile there and we’re not out of the woods but managing it better. A close friend of mine almost lost her life to anorexia and developed an incredible perfectionism as well at the time. It was so incredibly hard to watch but I can’t imagine what it was like to go through it.
    God’s love is amazing, though.
    Love & God Bless,
    Rowena

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    • Hi Rowena, thank you so much for reading and for your thoughtful reflection! What an interesting post! It was really interesting to think about how dogs see things and was very thought provoking. It sounds like you are a great mom and friend. Good luck painting the room! I’m sure your son with love it and definitely fill his love meter:) thanks again for stopping by xx

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  2. I loved this post. You even included that funny snippet of Carol Burnett saying “Do I hear HAPPINESS in here?!” lol, omg, I love love loved that movie when I was growing up. Thank you for sharing this ❤

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  3. Bravo excellent article, much more than a blog post in my mind
    I totally agree the original Hallmark movie was the best, and I loved the comparison of Daddy Warbucks and God and His unconditional love
    Especially in this new age world of gadgets – gizmos and often offensive atheists, and too many who have turned away from a life of faith and now readily denounce God

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  4. Amen to that!! That’s a nice read 😊 and true in all forms. Often times we look for love or approval in the wrong places but the one who has loved us from the beginning, at our worst, has always been there waiting for us ❤ God bless you and may He continue to use your stories mightily to bring people closer to Him! (:

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    • Thank you so much Kimmy! Isn’t that a comfort to know that we are so incredibly loved? By a Father who has loved us from the beginning? And that we don’t have to earn it? Thanks for your kind words and for taking the time to read! Hugs to you!

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  5. I love this comparison! He is welcoming and loving. He does show us that we are loved,cherished,and validated. He wants us to come running to him in our time of need, just as a father does because he is the true father. I ran from his hands for many years because I did not know what I was running from. I just knew I was lost. I’m thankful for finding him and for his forgiveness everyday.

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  6. Be preachy and keep up,the evangelization. The world was built by God to provide what is needed to go to to God. Man’s wants often distort the simple vision provided. We just need to choose the path of hope and not despair. As you and I know this is not always easy…but needs to be done. Keep preaching…

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  7. I never looked at Annie from this perspective and maybe this is why I feel a connection to the movie? I played her many times in my own little world-once on a neighbors picnic table and I was going all out! Little did I know that my Mother was watching from a window and when I came in, she sort-of poked fun at my ‘unabashed freedom’. I was ashamed… imagine that- being ashamed for pretending. As a parent myself, I never did this to my kids. When I heard them pretending (or saw it), I said nothing… they had the freedom to be and do anything they wanted. I wasn’t going to put shame on their plate and I don’t think it was intentionally put on my plate-but it hurt none-the-less. Thanks for your perspective here. We all deserve to be loved for who we are, no matter what that is.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing this:) yes, Annie definitely invites us to come into her story and feel the joy and unconditional love she experienced through adoption from Daddy Warbucks. It sounds like you’re a wonderful mom. I’m sorry that you felt that as a child. How great that you’re able to give your kids a safe zone to play and pretend and be themselves. Thanks for stopping by, friend. Hugs xox

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  8. Pingback: Little Orphan Annie | Unchain the tree

  9. Love the power of story-telling to share a message and especially the Gospel that is in Annie. My son is currently playing Daddy Warbucks in a production of Annie so this is fresh in my heart and mind. Great thoughts!

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