Oprah has been criticized in the past for her religious beliefs or lack there of. Some feel her followers worship her in an unhealthy way. We live in a culture of celebrity that lifts up people as objects to be adored. But regardless of how you feel about Oprah, we must acknowledge her love of education and how often she put legs to that love. Thousands of students got a college degree because of her generosity. School libraries and facilities got upgrades because of her love for reading. I’m thankful Oprah had the platform she did for 25 years. She gave a voice to issues in our country that needed it.
She said something in her finale show that caught my attention. As a pastor, I want to help people find language to describe their experiences of God and faith. Sometimes we’re too quick to discount another’s experience because it doesn’t sound or look like ours. She may not always have talked about God and Jesus the way “churchy” people do but it doesn’t mean she wasn’t experiencing the same God we all worship.
I know I’ve never been alone. And you haven’t either. And I know that presence, that flow, some people call it grace…is working in my life at every single turn. And yours too, if you let it in. It’s closer than your breath and it is yours for the asking…I felt the presence of God my whole life, even when I didn’t have a name for it. I could feel a voice bigger than myself speaking to me and all of us have that same voice. Be still and know it. You can acknowledge it or not. You can worship it or not. You can praise it. Your can ignore it. Or you can know it.