Thursday, October 27, 2011

Maya Angelou Reflection- Newsletter Article

Recently I got to join my sister-in-law at Belmont University to hear Dr. Maya Angelou speak. Dr. Angelou is one of my heroes, she is a celebrated poet, memoirist, novelist, educator, dramatist, producer, actress, historian, filmmaker, and civil rights activist. Her poems have captivated me since I was in high school and I am currently reading her memoir, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Dr. Angelou inspired the entire room that evening at Belmont. She talked about hope- especially in the midst of chaos and challenges. She reworked one of her favorite quotes from another author that says, “Just when you think the rain will never stop, God sends a rainbow.” She added an important piece and shared with us, “Just when you think the rain will never stop, God sends a rainbow through the clouds.” God can show up in all kinds of different ways in our lives, even peeking through and giving us hope during the darkest periods of our lives.

That evening I delighted in being in Dr. Angelou’s presence, she is an elderly woman who had to be helped on stage and into a chair, but you never doubted her strength for a second. Her voice exuded wisdom, passion and compassion and she told of a life well lived despite many trying circumstances.

Dr. Angelou also spoke a powerful word to me about the Christian life that night. She said that she is often leery when someone comes up to her and boldly pronounces, “I am a Christian!” She says that she thinks to herself, “already?” Being a Christian is a lifelong journey Angelou says. Instead of saying she has arrived at being Christian, Dr. Angelou often tells people she is “working at being a Christian.”

I think working at being a Christian is an accurate description of what we are all trying to do as we seek to follow Christ in this world. I am grateful for voices like Maya Angelou’s and other great authors who inspire us on the journey. May we continue to work together at become Christians. Amen and Amen.

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