She is one of the most beautiful women in the world.
She is a style icon, consistently photographed for magazine covers and admired on the red carpets at movie premiers and award shows.
She is famous, recognized as one of her generation’s excellent actresses, with a career that has stretched nearly three decades from her early twenties.
She is wealthy beyond description (at one time the highest paid actress in movies) with homes in resort areas in California, Idaho and Maine.
She has been married to two of the most famous actors in Hollywood, and has by all accounts raised children who are smart, beautiful and intensely loyal.
She is philanthropic, giving her time and resources to meaningful causes like rescuing girls from sex trafficking in Nepal.
But this morning, Demi Moore is in some sort of rehab facility, after having crashed in a fearful mixture of convulsions and semi-consciousness after smoking or ingesting some sort of substance during a party at her home last weekend.
Why would someone with so many resources at her disposal and so much positive good in her life sense a need for any sort of substance to numb or thrill or adjust or handle anything? Yes, Demi has been going through the trauma of a very public divorce in the aftermath of the bitter betrayal of adultery. It has not been an easy season, but still, the question lingers.
In our celebrity culture, it’s hard to remember that, just like with ordinary people, there may be a vast gulf between what appears on the outside and what is stirring on the inside. In other words, the glamour shots in the modeling sessions can never capture the soul of Demi. That has remained very carefully hidden.
Until now. Demi is a partner in the development of a new show on lifetime called The Conversation, which promises to create “an intimate and inviting environment” to discuss the universal needs & struggles of women. The show will feature conversations in which famous, seemingly all-together women (Moore, Zoe Saldana, Gwyneth Paltrow, Alicia Keys, etc) take down the walls and discuss their inner lives.
In a recent interview in Bazaar to promote the show, Demi made this stunning comment;
And I think there is no way to reach your fullest potential if you don’t really find the love of yourself. If I were to answer it just kind of bold-faced, I would say what scares me is that I’m going to ultimately find out at the end of my life that I’m really not lovable, that I’m not worthy of being loved. That there’s something fundamentally wrong with me. (emphasis added)
Read that again, slowly. Demi’s honesty here is stunning. She takes her soul out and puts it under the spotlight–alone, naked and vulnerable. There is at the core of Demi Moore a fear that that she will never be truly loved and accepted. That when all is said and done, the achievements of a lifetime will not gain her the thing she longs for the most—the certainty of being fully and honestly loved by another. That she can never do enough with her life to deserve being loved like that. That she is fundamentally broken to such a degree that no one on the planet would ever choose to simply love Demi for Demi. And everybody else can see the flaw that will remain hidden to Demi until some horrible, too-late moment of recognition.
You get the feeling that this longing is the search that is driving everything else in Demi’s life. All the emphasis on fashion, fitness and beauty could be a silent cry to hear somebody say “you’re lovely”, which feels like being loved (though it is not the same). All the philanthropy could be an attempt to do something right and fix something broken in the world so people will name her life in the world as one worthy of admiration.
Can you see the little girl with the lacy dress, in her mommy’s shoes and pearls, trying so hard to be grown-up and glamorous…and yet the lipstick missed her lips and the chocolate bar she’s clutching has melted all over her hands and dripped down the front of the dress.
Demi is looking for somebody to notice the beauty—and yet she’s painfully aware of the melting chocolate of her human flaws and limitations.
Demi is hungry for grace. She would never put it in those words, but that’s what she is longing for. She longs for a relationship with someone who will love her without reservation or limit, and who will not run away when they uncover the dark stain of her inner mess. She yearns for someone to accept her in spite of her inherent unworthiness. She aches to know that there is a place where she can be authentically real and not feel the pressure to measure up to some standard of worthiness that she already knows she fails to meet. She wants to be loved more deeply than her brokenness.
And there is only one Person who will love Demi like that. He already does. He knows all her flaws and brokenness—and loves her still. He is not shocked by her fundamental brokenness, nor will he run away from it. He knows she is not worthy, that she doesn’t measure up (because no human does), so he comes to exchange her failing scorecard for his perfect record. His heart breaks over her heart’s desperate struggle to make herself strong, good, beautiful or acceptable, because he knows she is utterly incapable of making herself any of those things. But he can make her all of those things, new from the inside out. He sees the true longings of her heart, and will gladly, freely, give them all to her….if she will simply trust him.
Demi needs grace. And since, “grace and truth come through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17), Demi needs Jesus.
Jesus is the heavenly Father with skin on. He is the one who will come to little girls, dressed-up and chocolate stained (or little boys, bow-tied and grass-stained) and scoop them in His arms and cover them with kisses… anyway.
Grace is the overwhelming and utterly irrational love of God lavished on those who aren’t loveable, don’t deserve it, aren’t worthy and are fundamentally wrong. That means grace is for all of us. Grace means that because of a bloody cross and an empty tomb, God loves you…anyway.
Grace means that it doesn’t (nor has it ever) depended on you to make yourself better, loveable, worthy or right. Grace is not about your performance, but about the generous heart of the Lover of your soul. Grace means that, in Jesus, you are accepted, now and forever…anyway.
Demi needs the grace of Jesus much more than she needs rehab. So do you and I and everybody we know. Why? Demi said that she was scared of being unloved. The redeemed slave trader John Newton once wrote that “grace my fears relieved.” Grace is nothing less than the untamed love of God, and His “perfect love casts out all fear.” (1 Jn. 4:18) So grace means that even though life is rife with fears, in Jesus you can have peace…anyway.
Demi is hungry for Jesus’ grace, whether she knows it or not. We all are. Only the grace of Jesus will satisfy the hunger in our souls. It’s the only thing big enough to sustain us through the complexities of this life and into the next. And if you know your life is being held tight by Jesus grace-full embrace now, there won’t be any surprises at the end of it.
Pray that Demi will come and feast on the grace of Jesus. And make sure you don’t miss the feast, either. There’s plenty for all of us.