I’m in a particularly musing mood at the moment. Writing, as far as I’m concerned, is understanding. I write to clarify things to myself when thoughts seem to buzz mercilessly around and around in my head. The thoughts of my head on this day have been troubling, to say the least. The trouble began when I logged into Facebook and noticed that it and all of social media seemed full of the misadventures of Miley Cyrus. However much I would have liked to avoid the subject, I could not. It greeted me wherever I went. The bluster, and the storm and the blogging, and Miley herself. It’s all very saddening. There’s no need to try and figure out how all this happened—how we got to the point where a young woman can sin onstage, degrade herself and throw off all of her feminine beauty and mystery, before a crowd of cheering fans determined to be entertained at any cost. The path is easy to trace if anyone cares to examine it. I am heartbroken because of the acceptance of sin. Have you noticed? When inward sinfulness meets outward approval, a spark is ignited and the explosion can be quite volatile.
I have this sensation of retreat come over me at times—wishing I could shut it all out. When the world seems to rejoice in evil, encourage evil and embrace evil, I think many of us wish we could find some little haven far away to hide in. But there is no solution in that.
A few years ago, I watched a movie called The Village. A group of people, sick and tired of evil influences, took themselves away to a remote clearing in the woods. A generation later, they had forged a life for themselves without foul language, crime, and intrusive technology. People in the village married and had children. The children knew nothing of the outside world except what their parents chose to tell them. Still, the leaders of the village were afraid the children would grow up and leave, be titillated by what they found and sucked back into the evils of the outside world. So, they invented tales of hideous, violent creatures that lived in the woods. They hoped to keep all the inhabitants of the village afraid of venturing away. Their complacency was shattered, though, when a half-wit in the village stabbed another young man out of jealousy. In order to save his life, the young man’s sweetheart determined to go to the outside world in search of medicine. The whole sham was revealed. The leaders had attempted to protect their children from evil by doing evil. In all their efforts to keep evil away from their children, they had forgotten about the evil that lived in their own hearts and would be with them wherever they went.
And there is evil in my heart wherever I go, in yours, in Miley’s, the people that watched and cheered her on, and the people that roundly condemn her in such hatred. There’s a poem that’s been on my mind for the last month and a half, and it has often brought me to tears.
Who Shall Deliver Me?
God strengthen me to bear myself;
That heaviest weight of all to bear,
Inalienable weight of care.
All others are outside myself;
I lock my door and bar them out
The turmoil, tedium, gad-about.
I lock my door upon myself,
And bar them out; but who shall wall
Self from myself, most loathed of all?
If I could once lay down myself,
And start self-purged upon the race
That all must run! Death runs apace.
If I could set aside myself,
And start with lightened heart upon
The road by all men overgone!
God harden me against myself,
This coward with pathetic voice
Who craves for ease and rest and joys
Myself, arch-traitor to myself ;
My hollowest friend, my deadliest foe,
My clog whatever road I go.
Yet One there is can curb myself,
Can roll the strangling load from me
Break off the yoke and set me free!
~ Christina G. Rosetti
That One is our solution. Hiding away from the evil will only render us up to the mercy of self. And self has no mercy at all. The greatest tragedy for Miley is that she has no recourse but herself. I, at least, have my Savior.