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Clarabelle, Zazu, and

Annie (my oldest niece) is going to be four in May, and she loves everything Disney (except for the “scary” parts – like the wolves in Snow White and the sharks in Finding Nemo).

Her favorite characters, though, are the most obscure ones.

Oh, she likes Mickey and Minnie and all of the princesses. But she loves the characters everyone else seems to overlook.

Her first love was Clarabelle the cow.

Do you know who that is? Neither did I until Annie started watching the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.

Clarabelle shows up about once every ten episodes and makes “udderly ridiculous” cow puns. When her Daddy (my brother) got her a stuffed Clarabelle, Annie put her hands over her mouth in delighted awe. She even got a little shy and backed away – so overwhelmed was she by the thought of having her very own Clarabelle to snuggle.

Then she saw the Lion King. She thought Simba and Nala were fine. She thought Timon and Pumba were alright. But she loved Zazu – the annoying, uptight hornbill.

Who loves Zazu?! This girl. She loved Zazu so much that she went as Zazu for Halloween. Since no child has ever wanted to go as Zazu, my Mama and Annie’s Mama had to make her costume from scratch.

Now she’s into Ludwig von Drake (better known as Scrooge McDuck). He, like Clarabelle and Zazu, is a rather obscure character. We’re going to Disney World in April and she has been doing extra chores to earn enough money to buy a von Drake toy. Prayers that they even have a von Drake toy.

Here’s the point.

I love how Annie loves the obscure – the fringe – characters. I love how she isn’t enamored with the big shots. I love how she doesn’t care if it’s “cool” to like them.

I hope she always loves those on the fringe – always loves those living in the margins. I hope she always cares for those that everyone else seems to overlook. I hope she’s never too “cool” to befriend the “uncool.”

Because that’s how our God has loved us. He loves the “main characters,” to be sure. But He’s equally enamored by the least, the overlooked, the forgotten.

And He calls us to love the least, the overlooked, the forgotten, too.

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