I don’t really want to beat a dead horse, but usually when I can’t stop thinking about something, I have found that writing about it stops my inner-dialogue, at least for a couple of minutes.
I really didn’t think a whole lot of the situation, at first. I usually watch the VMAs. If for no other reason that it makes me feel a little less old than I am….or scratch that; maybe it makes me feel older. But, at any rate, I like to keep up with pop culture. That’s my excuse. I actually forgot about the award show this year, but every year there is something controversial. Ridiculous. Uncomfortable. And, quite frankly, something I wouldn’t want my children to witness. Remember Madonna crawling around in a wedding dress singing “Like a Virgin”? Or the Chris Rock proclaiming something like “get to church now, before we burn in hell” after Marylin Manson’s performance? I do. So when I saw all of the hysteria on FB, Twitter, and even the main stream news, I honestly did not think much about it. It wasn’t until yesterday morning, after discussing it shortly with my mom, that I even sat down and watched the award show (that I had DVR’d). I want to previse this by saying that I ONLY watched the VMAs. I have been told there where other shots and camera angles shown by other resources. Those I cannot commit on. Anyway, I discovered that I have an opinion about this.
One question that I’d like to ask is that if this had been, say, Lady Gaga’s performance instead of Miley Cyrus’s, would our reaction have been different? I certainly cannot predict everyone’s reaction, and I’m sure had it been Gaga, there would still have been comments made. But I am willing to bet that we had such a huge reaction to the performance because what we expected was Hannah Montana (who may I remind you, doesn’t exist) and what we got was more Jenna Jameson (Yes, I know who that is. Don’t crucify me.) Expectations play such a huge part in how we react. What I expect from you depends upon how crazy I react to your sins. If I don’t expect very much, my reaction is minimal. I will blow it off to you didn’t know any better. But what if my expectations are high, well, that leads to all kinds of disappointments, hurts, and criticisms. This is possibly going to sound harsh, but as a Christian community, we have got to lower our expectations. Why did we expect ANYTHING different from a child who was raised by the entertainment industry? A parent who told her that she is only worth as much as her latest Tweet volume, Google searches, FB followers. That to continue her career, she must break away from the good-girl image and be more sexy, more shocking. Sadly, we must have expected this type of behavior from Robin Thicke, because people were seemingly not as shocked by his addition to the performance. I don’t know if this is because we have a double standard for men in our culture or if it is because his music leans toward the controversial. (This is clearly a whole new debate, so I will leave that to another blogger). Why do we hold people to such high expectations and then yell “crucify!” when those expectations aren’t met? We do it all of the time with pastors, family, children, friends. Why do we hold people to expectations of which they aren’t even remotely capable? And then act so high and mighty upon their failure. I’m sorry, but this pretty much defines hypocrisy. The only reason people aren’t posting about our sins most of the time is because we have chosen not to air them on national TV. But they are mistakes, just the same. I think Jesus Christ himself has had many a run in with our expectations. We all know what happened when He didn’t meet the Pharisees’ expectations as the “Coming King”. Furthermore, I don’t think God was even shocked at her performance. And I don’t think that He was shaking His head at Miley saying, “What am I gonna do with you?” I think He thought, “I love you, and I’m gonna love you through this identity crisis until you see the truth.” Of course, I’m speculating, but I’m pretty sure it went something like that ;).
Do not get me wrong. I am not condoning her behavior. I am not saying that we should support her by praising her performance (Honestly, I was more offended by her pitchiness than anything else). You don’t have to jump on iTunes and buy her latest single. I won’t be pushing my children to listen to her latest album. And I realize that she, as a celebrity, relinquishes part of her right to not be ridiculed as she chose to make the statement she made in front of millions. And choices have consequences. However, I don’t think Miley is a dumby. I think 300,000 Tweets about her DURING (not after) her performance alone (is exactly what she wanted.
Which leads to my second question, how many of you sent up a little prayer for Miley instead, or along with, your criticism on social media? She obviously is a mixed-up girl who needs an encounter with the love and grace of Christ. What if we prayed as much as we criticized? Believe me, I’m preaching to myself. One of my many flaws is that I can be harshly critical. Just being honest. And I have been convicted of my harsh criticisms many a time. So this is not me calling out your sins. I’m calling out my own sin. What if 300,000 prayers just for Miley had been sent up in those few minutes instead of 300,000 Tweets? Honestly, I hope there were. Maybe I’m being cynical, but I kind of doubt it. We love to see another fall for some reason. It’s sickening. And it shouldn’t be. We know better. Are not we told over and over….”Love is patient. Love is kind…….IT KEEPS NO RECORD OF WRONG DOINGS.”? Was your Tweet or FB post about Miley kind? Did it mention her wrong doings? Ouch. Where’s the love, people? What about a little love given when our expectations aren’t met instead of criticism? What about a prayer that LOVE touch that person who is not meeting our expectations?
I want to tell you a story.
Once upon a time there was a little girl who loved the music of Michael Jackson. She stared at his Thriller Limited-Edition album many a night right before going to sleep. Once upon a time, that same little girl was a teenager at a Super Bowl Party at her church. Michael Jackson performed the half-time show. Most of the Christians at the party began calling Michael names and ridiculing him for his alleged mistakes, etc. That teenage girl announced that she prayed for him all of the time to find the love and grace of God and that they should do the same.
Once upon a time, that teenage girl grew up to be the mom of a little girl who died of childhood cancer. And one night that mom had a dream that her little girl came back from heaven with news that there were so many people in heaven that most would be shocked to find out “made the cut”. She excitedly proclaimed, “Michael Jackson is in heaven, Mom! I knew you would want to know.” And off the little girl went…..back to heaven.
Maybe the dream was prophetic. Maybe it was a delusion of a heartsick mother. Maybe it was a message from God saying that we will be spending a whole lot of eternity with people that did not live up to our expectations, but, by a miracle and a lot of prayers, came face to face with the unexpected magnitude of God’s grace that covers a multitude of sins. Including criticism. And twerking.
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