The summer is nearly over and was full of memories with my family and church. I am a richly blessed woman indeed! But as fall approaches I am starting to feel stirrings of blog ideas. Today I’m sensing an urge to write about someone I’ve never met or with whom I will never have contact.
Her name is Miley Cyrus.
She wasn’t always Miley. In fact, when she was born in November 1992 to her country singing dad, Billie Ray Cyrus and his soon-to-be-wife, she was Destiny Hope. As a young girl she became a Disney star on the show, Hannah Montana, where her character was named Miley. She was raised in a Christian environment and attended a Baptist church regularly. In fact, it’s told that as a teen she wore a purity ring to demonstrate her desire to walk in sexual purity until marriage.
Fast forward to this past Sunday and what many have called her pornographic performance that aired on the 2013 Video Music Awards. Last night I was watching Fox News when teasers of their coverage of her song began. Donning a seductive bikini-like outfit, the sexual gyrations and vulgar use of a fingered prop commonly used at sporting events began. I was stunned and quickly changed the channel.
Then the disheartening thoughts began.
How did a beautiful little girl named Destiny Hope who grew up in the church end up on national television acting out so recklessly as to cause Hollywood spectators themselves to blush? What happened in the heart and life of a toddler who used to attend Sunday School and a pre-adolescent who wore a visible reminder of her desire to walk in purity end up nauseating many just days ago with her degrading and bawdy actions while millions watched…or even lured? What made me turn my eyes away and email Greta Van Susteren about my disappointment that this was considered Fox “news”?
Why is it news that a lovely young woman shamed herself on national television? Because there is still something in the human heart that says, “That was bad.” There are still women out there who hate that their sisters allow ourselves to be objectified; men who don’t want to see a woman on a stage doing and dressing and acting and moving in ways only meant for the privacy of some bedrooms; mothers and grandmothers who are moved to tears because a once-interested-in-purity young girl has given in to the lure of money and sex and a possible craving for significance to lead her down the road to destruction rather than self-worth and inner beauty.
My heart is grieving today for Destiny Hope.
I ache for her and for all the little girls who are growing up in a sex-saturated culture where what they wear and how they act and how much attention they get from boys is where they find their worth. When I can’t find a modest and feminine outfit for my 7-year-old granddaughter in store racks full of teen-looking or “Girls Rule” garments I feel frustrated and sad.
And then I’m reminded of me. Yes, how often do I choose an outfit to get attention or fit in? What stirs in my heart when my husband doesn’t give me the attention I want or think I deserve? When I feel self-pitying or unimportant because people don’t applaud or give me the kudos I crave, what sinful things would I do if the gospel didn’t govern my wayward heart?
Rather than condemn and judge Miley, let’s remember Destiny Hope. I’m asking my readers to consider taking some time to pray for her. Pray that memories of growing up in her Baptist Church will invade her thoughts. Pray that the hope of the gospel — the fact that it doesn’t matter if you’ve flaunted and shamed yourself on national TV, Jesus came to seek and save lost sinners like her and you and me. Pray that her heartbreaking actions before millions will lead a few to carry her to the throne of grace, asking for mercy and help in her time of need.
Will you join me in praying for her now…and when God brings her to mind?
Lord, I confess my temptation to self-righteous judgement of this lost and broken woman. I am more like her than I am like You without Your power to change a heart bent on sin. If not for Your pursuit of me I would be wandering, searching and desperate for attention, too. Please draw her to Yourself. Open her eyes to see that the only destiny that will bring her true joy is being cleansed and loved by You. Give her a desire to know You, Jesus! And turn her quest for significance and worth toward the One who came to seek and save the likes of her…and me.