There has been a great deal of wind gusting in the wake of last week’s “Adventure of the Billboard Dress”. The conversation has been largely about modesty, and appropriateness, and high fashion in the music industry. Those topics have been pretty much exhausted in the hot air of moral debate.
However, when all was said and done, those points were not as important as were our individual, personal reactions to the event. The flurry of approvals and disapprovals regarding Lindsey Stirling’s wardrobe at the Billboard awards has given us all a rare opportunity to demonstrate who we are. And it has been an interesting exercise of self-revelation. I hope we were all paying close attention to what we thought and what we said. Some found expression in a disappointing display of snap judgment and criticism. Others rose above the level of the mob and sparkled in a demonstration of charity and understanding that touched Lindsey’s heart in a dark time. That kind of love will one day change the world. At least that was the Savior’s point of view – a teaching he demonstrated, time and time again, by example.
But aside from the sneers and the cheers, I would like to emphasize one point has not been made forcefully enough. So as a father I will make it. We all know who Lindsey Stirling is. It is difficult not to see who she is, day in, day out. Seldom has there been so sincere, so straightforward, and so genuine an individual in today’s culture of entertainment. She is ‘right up front’ in her expressions and appreciative of the people who love her and her music. She wears her religion on her sleeve and is perfectly willing to let the world know why. She has a testimony of the goodness of God and is not afraid to share it. And in word and deed she does so daily in more ways than most of us make the effort to do in a month of Sundays.
And I’m not hard pressed to say that there is probably not one in a thousand of us who could bear up under the pressure of the public eye and the influence of the world with as much grace and optimism and courage as Lindsey does – interview after interview, concert after concert, and yes, award show after award show.
Do yourself a favor. Take a look at that picture everyone’s talking about. Now, forget the dress and look at those eyes. That’s Lindsey! There is no bitterness, or arrogance, or stain of the world in those eyes. Those eyes tell the real story of Lindsey Stirling. There is someone who loves the Lord – and along with millions of adoring fans, he loves her back.
Finally, to Lindsey I have a gem of truth, of which you will need to be reminded again and again, because in many ways you live in a fish bowl and you belong to the world. It is a thought from philosopher Elbert Hubbard. “To be misunderstood is the penalty for greatness. But it is no proof of greatness. The final proof of greatness lies in being able to endure criticism [and misunderstanding] without resentment.”
May you ever continue to be great.