Friday, March 11, 2011

The Gospel According to Daddy Warbucks

Hooooow many times have I seen Annie? It must be a number in the hundreds. Add to that the number of times I've listened to or sung the music, seen the play...and, oh, yeah - there was that time I DIRECTED THE SHOW IN HIGH SCHOOL. Well, technically that was the sequel, but still, I was immersed in the story for like 4 straight months.

So imagine my surprise when tonight, I'm just sitting here, minding my own business, being mom of the year by ordering pizza, cuddling up with the girls and having an Annie-watching pajama party - singing along with every single number and... what? Tears? What the...?

Tonight, I saw a completely different story.

See, there's this girl. An orphan. Let's call her...Annie. She's a pretty good kid, looks out for others, sings very sweetly. She's living in hell, but it's all she's ever known. She can imagine something better - she just doesn't know how to find it. She makes a couple of attempts at escape, but finds that she is unable to save herself.

Then on a very dark day, when Annie finds herself trapped and essentially a prisoner, someone knocks on hell's door and singles her out. Through no power of her own, she is given a ticket to a new life. A free pass. Leapin' lizards!

It's a little hard for Annie to understand at first. Standing in a comparative heaven, surrounded by angelic servants who are dancing and singing and celebrating her arrival (they really think she's going to like it there), she reaches for the sponge, ready to clean the floors, expecting to have to earn her keep. She is immediately informed that she is not to lift a finger. The work is done for her.

Fast-forward a few days, through a visit to the movies and the White House, and the man who has taken her in is completely smitten. Oliver Warbucks the Billionaire leaves his palatial estate and enters Annie's hell to make the adoption official. He survives a harrowing visit with the seductive mistress of the orphanage - remaining in control of the situation the entire time.

Presenting her with a new locket and signed adoption papers, Mr. Warbucks offers Annie complete access to relationship with him and everything he has.

And they live happily ever after.

Wait! Not yet. It gets better.

As it turns out, Annie isn't quite sure that she's ready for, well, everything yet. She's not ready for her broken heart locket to be replaced with a whole one. There still might be something better out there. So, ever the gentleman, Warbucks gives Annie the freedom to try to find it. And when "something better" turns out to be bad guys chasing her up a train bridge? He's there, ripping her out of the arms of Punjab and into a father's embrace.

The tears started tonight when Annie reached for the sponge, because I spend all day with a sponge in my hand, trying to earn my keep. But like Annie, I need to understand - every day - that the work is done. And not by me. My all-powerful father has entered my mess, done battle with my enemies and presented me with adoption papers because he couldn't imagine a life without me. And when I'm carried off and find myself hanging onto a train bridge for dear life, he's there to rescue me...every single time.


Laura C. said...

Sheesh Amy, you're killin me! I cried just reading this because I too have seen Annie a million times. Isn't it amazing how God can just call out to us in the oddest places? Through a film or a song we've heard a million times. He redeems things and gives them new meaning. I love it! Thank you for sharing this...beautiful.

Greg said...

I had a friend tell me recently that GOD is the prodigal. Prodigal means to spend lavishly, over the top, to the point of wasteful running all over the floor kind of pouring (reminds me of a prodigal woman who poured perfume on Jesus' feet). God continues to lavish His love on all of us. Oh... wow.

Gooneybush Girl said...

Tears now for I have been twice pardoned, once Christ pardoned me, and the second my family plucked me from foster care. I live daily with the reality that I have much that I don't deserve...heaps and heaps of it.

Thank you for your beautiful words.

Keri Jo Rinke
(friend of Jennifer Perry Smith)

Amy Wright said...

Laura, I just told a friend that I'm grateful God speaks to me in the unexpected places, since I tend to have a hard time listening in the "expected" places. :)

Greg, Amen!

Keri Jo, Thanks for sharing your perspective - and for stopping by! We all have much we don't deserve!

thimblerigsark said...

We just wrapped up school production of Annie, and I stumbled upon your analysis here. I love it! I saw all those pieces during the rehearsals/performances, but didn't put it together until I read what you wrote. Beautiful stuff!

The Gospel According to Warbucks. Who'd a thunk it?