Have a heart

I don't know why this is bothering me so badly -- perhaps it's knowing, as a song by Casting Crowns puts it, that there's a storm raging inside this young woman's soul. I've been there, when the soul is stirred not by the gentle ebbs and flows of daily life, but swirling in a storm whose only logical conclusion is misery.
See that poor girl there? She's hurting. Somewhere along the way, her life has taken a dangerous turn, and you know what our response is? To glance at pictures of her plastered across magazines as we wait to buy our gallon of milk, rubber-necking just as at a car wreck, hoping to see a tragedy. Our wish is being granted. That tragedy is happening right now, in real time. Shame on all of us for licking our chops as it happens.
Watch this video, via YouTube (I'd embed it directly here, but I've been having some problems doing so lately.) It's late night talk show host Craig Ferguson, describing the storm that once raged in his life and his admirable decision to not poke fun at Britney Spears.
What's it hurt?, you say. Hey, she asked for it, right? Wanted to be famous. Made herself a target by making stupid decisions, parading half-naked for the paperazzi (sp?) and then having the audacity to be upset when the press turned ugly. OK, so maybe all of that is true. But, as Ferguson points out in his monologue, Britney Spears is, what, 25 years old? "She's a baby herself," he says.
This isn't the thing I normally write about, but for some reason I'm heartbroken over what has happened to this young woman. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I've been there, where she is, and was fortunate enough not to have the national media following me around and pontificating on what a bad person I was each time I screwed up. Truth be told, I screwed up probably more than Britney Spears.
So here's the thing: stop reading about her. Stop talking about her. Don't gawk at her pictures in the tabloids. Don't crinkle your nose and say to your friends, "Did you see how bad she looked in that picture?" Or, "She's such a terrible mother." If you see her newly bald head on your television screen, turn the channel (you shouldn't be watching "Access Hollywood" or "Entertainment Tonight" anyway). Don't buy "People" magazine if there's even so much as a mention of her.
I'm begging you to do two things: first, pray for her. Ask God to reveal Himself to her, to soothe her spirit, to help her find the truth of love. Not love from whatever deadbeat who wants to exploit her, but the love of Christ, the only person who can heal her spirit.
And, second, just leave the poor girl alone.