1. What is the deal with the giant teddy bears? Seriously. I just can't get over it! I looked up the lyrics to the song (hello, anyone read Genesis 3... anyone?) and I'm more confused. Giant bears… just weird... and confusing... and weird.
2. Miley is no different than any other person. She wants to be different. She wants to be noticed. She wants to be valued. Unfortunately, someone told her that this was how to be those things but her performance was not shocking. Really, it wasn't. I mean, I grew up watching Madonna. It's hard to beat that. For real, the woman was queen of shocking us; cones on her boobs, books about illicit sex, the only redeeming thing about that mess was that in "Papa Don't Preach" she actually wanted to keep her baby! Sigh. I digress. The point is that Miley just wants some attention and to do her own thing. Who hasn't? All her life she's heard what she should do and she's questioning that. You know, kind of like Eve did in the Garden of Eden. Just like we do in countless other ways. The thing is that, for most of us, we have questioned certain boundaries but haven't ever had anyone pushing us toward others, like Miley does. Come on, how many of your friends would tell you to put on a nude colored bikini and grind on a foam finger? Even if I could get past the nude bikini, which I vehemently oppose, I die at the thought of getting on a stage in said bikini and then the foam finger??? It's simply not a temptation for most of us but it really isn't shocking to me. Sad but not shocking.
3. Christians… (side note: I'm not a fan of using that word in this country due to so many varying definitions but that's a totally different discussion) Church… people who claim to know and follow Jesus, we're doing this wrong. We are supposed to be the visual image of the invisible God. That alone sounds weird to people who aren't believers. Our character, our actions, our reactions are supposed to tell the world who Jesus is and how he would respond. I have to tell you something and after reading the world wide webs this morning it might be more shocking that Miley's attention seeking performance; Jesus was not shocked last night. He wasn't. He knew what she would do and he's seen it before… A LOT. Another thing, no lost person decides that they want to know Jesus because people who claim to know Jesus are appalled by them. "What is wrong with you?" does not incite a desire to run to the corner church and plea to be a member! If we want to be the hands and feet of Jesus, we cannot live shocked at how depraved people can be apart from Christ. Yes, it should break our hearts. Yes, we should acknowledge that it's awful and sinful and ugly and even embarrassing. But our "little white lies" and our church gossip and our efforts to be a good bible study girl so that others will think we're oh so holy… these things nailed Jesus to the cross just as much as Miley seeking for unholy attention and degrading herself on national television. Let's be careful, Christ followers, to not sin ourselves when we see someone so broken! Can we for just a second pick our righteous chins off the floor and see that her actions are a symptom of her inner brokenness? Can we for a second stop talking about how gross she is and see her how Jesus sees her? Because, you know what? He died for her too. He loves her too. Can we, as his followers, see that what he would want us to do is remind her that his arm is not too short to save and her sin is not more powerful than the cross? Can we do that? Because if we cannot, I'm afraid that we might have bigger problems than Miley. They just look prettier and no one is videotaping us.
Sweet girl, I cannot imagine you'd ever read this but you won't the be last girl I encounter who needs to hear it. Did you wake up with your head banging this morning? I remember feeling that way too. That party life is so hard on the body, huh? Did you catch the twitter feed this morning? I'm sure you acted like you didn't care but it hurts, doesn't it? I'm sorry. Back when I was your age all that stuff just spread through the gossip mill but it moved fast then too. I'd act like I didn't care but sometimes I'd cry a little when no one was looking. It will probably be a while before you believe this and I know full well I wouldn't have listened if someone would have told me but it's not worth it. All that work you're putting into being "you," well, if it were really you, it wouldn't be so much work. I know, though. I remember the rush of being noticed. I even remember the high of knowing I'd shocked someone. You just can't help but roar in laughter, can you? You know what, though? Jesus wasn't shocked. Nope, not a bit. He didn't stop loving you either and he misses you like crazy. Here's the thing with Jesus, he just wants you to stop trying to impress people. He doesn't even want you to try to impress him. You don't have to try to change yourself and be some perfect bible study girl. There's just as much brokenness there… it just doesn't get videotaped and put on tv. The only thing in the world that Jesus wants is for you to just be with him, believe him and trust him. He loves you, girl. He really does and no matter how hard you try, he won't stop and when you're ready to stop trying so hard, he'll be right there because he made you special and you don't have to prove that to him.
Been there. Done that. Grateful no one taped it.