Today ends the Oprah show that has been a part of my life for probably a good 15 years. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be Oprah. I believe she has made more of a positive impact on more people than anyone else in recent history. There are many celebrities that are revered for whatever talents they have but I doubt any are as beloved by so many as Oprah. She can make you feel inspired, uplifted, empowered, encouraged, educated, and entertained. She can make you think, make you cry and make your laugh. She can challenge your way of thinking and super-size your compassion. She has the ability to bring the world and its diverse population into your living room and allow you to see with different eyes and more understanding hearts.
I love what she represents about our country. That a unwanted baby girl born in into poverty in 1950’s backwoods Mississippi to a single mother could then rise to such meteoric fame and success is a testament to America and all it stands for. Those are the stories she profiles on her show...the woman in Africa who is beaten for doing her brother’s homework, who has 3 children and an abusive husband by age 18, yet she manages to get a high school diploma and later a chance to study in America where she achieves a BA, MA and then doctorate degree minus one abusive husband. Or the two sisters who saw their grandparents murdered after their home was burned to the ground. The lived as refuges in a camp in Rwanda until adopted by an American family and then went on to achieve their dreams of higher education and then back to Rwanda to improve the lives of people there.
Oprah is a lot of things to a lot of people but what I admire most about her is her heart. She has such a heart for people and their circumstances. Her compassion, wisdom and generosity have touched so many lives. She has truly used her celebrity in constructive and admirable ways.
I also love what she has done to promote reading, inspiring legions of readers and making many authors successful. I love her constant testimony about how God works in her life. She gives God all the credit he is due and teaches us how to listen for His voice. One of my favorite stories she tells is about wanting a part in ‘The Color Purple’. She wanted that part so much she could think of nothing else. She obsessed about it. The casting came and went and she wasn’t called. One day she was running laps around a track and thinking about that part when the song “I Surrender All” came on her headset.
All to Jesus I surrender;
all to him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust him,
in his presence daily live.
I surrender all, I surrender all,
all to thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all.
In that moment she surrendered her desire for the part in the movie. She gave it freely to the Lord. She hadn’t even finished her workout when someone came out to say she had a phone call in the office which turned out to be Steven Spielberg, offering her the part in the movie.
Peace out Oprah. Thanks for everything. My husband is rejoicing but I will miss you dearly.
To God be the glory.
To God be the glory.