cyrus 2

Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions? Not at all–they don’t even know how to blush . . .

– Jeremiah 6:15

Goodness gracious, it’s everywhere.

If you participate in any social media, be it Facebook or Twitter, you know the buzz surrounding Miley Cyrus’ performance on Sunday evening’s VMA’s.

For the record, I didn’t even know the VMA’s were on and I had to take a moment to remember what the acronym even stood for (Video Music Awards for my fellow nerd friends. Chest bump.)

And so after reading this fabulous post by Annie Downs and this one by Brant from Air 1 Radio, I felt the need to watch it and see what all the buzz was about.

To be honest, I expected to see worse. Yes, it was bad.  But the way everyone was making it sound, I expected her to be buck-naked and well . . . doing more.

Don’t get me wrong here – I certainly wouldn’t have allowed my children to watch it and I was definitely disturbed.

Yet sadly, I wasn’t surprised.

We live in a culture that has lost its respect for sex. We’ve cheapened it and taken it off-track from what it was intended to be. Very few blush these days as they discuss once-taboo topics and Miley’s performance this past Sunday confirms we accept more now as a culture than we once did. This little number would never have been allowed to air back in the days of yore.

Remember Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl years ago? Yes, that was nothing compared to this.

And fully knowing I might come off as sounding like the “Church Lady” from the old SNL skits, I see proof of this when I walk through clothing stores while shopping for my eight year old daughter.

Belly shirts emblazoned with “It’s All About Me.” One-shoulder tops. Barely-there shorts.

In sizes that only little girls should wear.

We live in a world where women wear buttons to the bars emblazoned with “DTF” (Google it) and wonder why men are confused when we say no.

We cheer-on young men who have successful sexual conquests and even encourage it at times because “all boys should.”

Then we call his partners sluts.

Sexual dysfunction has become the normal function in the United States.

Regardless, I side with Annie when it comes to girls making choices like Miley’s. I could see the pain as her tongue flickered awkwardly with attempts to be lascivious. I sensed her uncertainty of who she really is, her confusion of what she’s rooted in.

I see her trying to shed her former wholesome image by going too far in the opposite direction. Her desperate desire to fit-in with a Hollywood that once thought of her as Hannah Montana is obvious.

Yet this young woman needs to be loved right on through it. And so do the scores of other girls who may not be as famous but are making choices based on their desire to erase pain.

So while I don’t condone her performance, I do think she possesses talent.

And while I do think she possesses talent, I think it needs to be channeled correctly.

But it’s not going to be channeled correctly if we don’t approach her with love.

Because the only thing insult, hate, and judgment builds are walls.

And walls don’t unite – they separate.

It’s true that it can be challenging to love and pray for a person who’s actions you consider detestable.

But when we we are called to go against the grain, to love someone who isn’t easy to love, we are being called to Radical Love.

And Radical Love is Jesus Love.

Will you join me in radically loving the broken young girls making choices we might not agree with?

Father, we live in a world where it takes far too much for us to blush. Our sexualized society hurts our youth by exposing them to mature relationships they are not yet equipped to be a part of and robs them of innocence and heart. Yet we know so well that many of our youth make these decisions out of pain. Fear. Low self-worth. Lack of identity in You. God, I pray for women, young and old, who meet this description. I lift up to you the girls who are considered to be promiscuous. I lift up the girls who show too much cleavage. I lift up the girls who are trying to fill a void by having too many boyfriends. And I also lift up those who judge them. Those who look down upon them and make them feel less-than. Those who don’t understand the full power of the gospel. Lord, I pray for walls to be torn down and for these girls and women to know you and feel your love. Amen.