Monday, December 21, 2009

The Island of Misfit Toys

As we head toward the loveliest night of the year (Christmas Eve) for some reason I’ve been unable to get the Island of Misfit Toys out of my head. The island “surfaced” in 1964 on what has become the longest continually running Christmas special, “Rudolph the Red–Nosed Reindeer.”

According to Wikipedia, The "Island of Misfit Toys" is an island sanctuary where defective and unwanted toys are sent. The island is ruled by King Moonracer - a winged lion. Among the citizens (castaways) are:

Spotted Elephant (also is the island's bellhop),

Bird Fish is a toy bird who swims instead of flies,

Misfit Cowboy who rides an ostrich,

Trainer, a train with square wheels on its caboose,

A toy boat that sinks rather than floats,

A squirt gun that shoots grape jelly,

An airplane that can't fly,

A bear that rides a bike, and

"A scooter for Jimmy."

There’s also a "Dolly for Sue" (as she calls herself) who by all appearances is a seemingly normal girl rag doll with red hair and a red gingham (checkered) dress. However in 2007 on NPR “Rudolph's” producer, Arthur Rankin, reveals that Dolly's problem was psychological, caused from being abandoned by her mistress and suffering depression from feeling unloved.

What a great reminder that beneath all of our carefully decorated and attired Christmas facades are a bunch of misfit toys. I’ve often thought that at times I serve the First Church of Misfit Toys led by a staff that shoots grape jelly.

The good news of Christmas is that God’s love makes room for misfit toys to welcomed to the family.

By the way, my favorite misfit is a jack-in-the-box named Charlie – which means he is actually a “Charlie-In-The-Box “ and as he laments, “Nobody wants a Charlie-in-the-box.”

God does and so do we. So I am praying that all the Charlies, Bird Fish, ostrich riding Cowboys and Dolls for Sue join us on Christmas Eve to celebrate good news of great joy for misfits like us.

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