This time last night, I was in the heart of Hollywood. Running down the Hollywood Walk of Fame wearing sky-high leopord print heels, holding onto my sister's arm as we tripped over a red carpet for some premier happening on one side of the street, and fought the crowds to make it on time to a studio-filled audience on the other side of the street. The night proved to be full - of laughter, good plain fun, sisterly chats and ... a few more lessons for me to learn.
Even though I've lived my entire life just miles away from the craziness of LA...ya gotta know, I'm a home-body. I love being home, just hanging out. I love drinking coffee or hot chocolate, lighting my "Cinnamon Sugar Donut" scented candles, and listening to music. I'm a bubble-bath taking little nester and proud of it! Sorry, y'all...you might think I'm totally boring. But I'm no drinker, and I'm certainly not a partier on weekends. But hey, I love to have fun. Especially with Mandy (my sweet Sis) So when we got free tickets to go see Jimmy Kimmel Live at his ABC studio, we decided to make it into a Girl's Night Out. And who better to go with? 'Cause she knows how to put on some bright lipstick and laugh. Sister knows how to have a good time.
In our culture, certain people are worshipped. I know I'm not the only one who knows it. Go turn on your TV. Can you deny it? We all worship something. And for most of the world, it is not the Lord. Yet, amid the glitz and glam of a TV show recording, I kept thinking about this,
And I asked myself...
What am I (what are we) serving? Having social status? Money? Being beautiful? Achieving "celebrity"?
The screaming girls. The shimmering lights. The red carpet.
What a contrast to what I experienced next.
Starved after the show, we ducked into a small taco shop next door to the studio for some food. The small, dark-haired lady wearing a black polyester collared shirt took my order, She moved slowly, her eyes dark and head low. As she ripped the receipt from the cash register and handed it me, I noticed her right hand was withered. Literally, she stands just a wall away from a stage where every night of the week, famous people sit and are admired on national TV.
Nightly, beautiful celebrities are gazed at, crowds hanging on their every word. Nightly, this woman works a cash register in a stuffy kitchen, unrecognized...not cared for. And this occurs - just a wall away.
Moments later, as we walked to our car, I saw a young woman sitting up against a wall by the crosswalk. Her hair was dark and cropped short. She had piercings on her face, tattoos on her body. Her eyes were dark, hardened. She sat, weeping. Her face in her hands. On a dirty street lined with gold painted stars engraved with movie star's names. And just across the street, Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah were walked safely out of the Kodak Theatre, flanked by strong, suited body guards and driven away in their big, shiny black Escalades, safely to their next destination. And there she sat, scared...alone.
As we drove out of Hollywood, this was standing high, perched on top a building - up, above it all. Shining quietly. So unassuming. So understated, compared to the onslaught of larger-than-life, flashing billboards everywhere. So simple, as opposed to the huge spotlights filling the studio ceiling from earlier in the evening. It just stood silently above it all. Shining.
The Cross. Salvation. Jesus leaving the glories of Heaven, stooping down to the dirtiness of earth to save broken people He loves. In our sin, our idolatry. So we can have a better life, eternal life, with Him forever.
And yet we just race along, oblivious of Him. Making idols and gods out of other things, other people. Screaming for a handsome actor or a talented actress, when all the while He sits. Waiting. Whispering, "Come to Me...Worship Me." Sometimes we hear it. But do we respond? Do we listen? Sometimes I feel like I'm running 100 miles an hour with my hair on fire, trying to keep up, make ends meet, be prettier, richer, more popular, more fashionable, more successful. All the while, forgetting who is the lover of my soul ... Jesus. Forgetting about the hurting world. Breaks my heart like porcelain.
With my hot chocolate & candles burning.
Hollywood can wait. I have big things to do.}