There are moments in history when an individual comes along to live a life that reminds us of the possibilities of the human spirit. Poet, author, teacher, activist, and Renaissance woman, Dr. Maya Angelou was such a person.
I had the opportunity to have dinner with Dr Angelou before she transitioned. She radiated a regal, majestic, and unforgettable presence.
As a student of the New Thought and follower of Unity, Miss Angelou told a story demonstrating how embodying one truth idea can change the trajectory of a life.
Maya Angelou was a childhood victim of rape that resulted in such deep shame that she was rendered practically unable to speak for years. Subsequently, under the guidance of her mentor, Frederick Wilkerson, she began reading aloud from the book Lessons in Truth. She talks about reading the book's line that says, "God loves me."
Her mentor told her to read those words repeatedly: "God loves me."
Eventually, Dr. Angelou had a profound revelation and said with conviction, as if she grasped the meaning of the words for the first time when she proclaimed, "God - Loves - Me!"
When Maya Angelou took in those words, she became profoundly emotional and had to lean over for a moment. Years later, in an interview, Miss Angelou recounted that experience and said, "It still humbles me that this force, which made the leaves and fleas and stars and rivers and you, loves me - me, Maya Angelou. It's amazing! I can do any good thing well. I can do it."
Those three simple yet empowering words changed how she saw herself. She knew that it did not matter what may or may not have happened in her life, she was and remained a beloved child of God. We all are.
Accepting the unalterable truth of those words helped catapult her to become an iconic international figure. She said, "I am who I am because God loves me. I'm amazed at it and grateful for it."
I remember when Maya Angelou unexpectedly attended a Sunday service in which I happened to give the message.
At the end of the service, I asked her if she would be willing to say a few words to the congregation. I didn't know it then, but she was going through a rough patch in her life. Her son was having severe health issues, and she was having physical challenges.
She said two words repeatedly from a consciousness of gratitude for life: "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."
And to you, Dr. Maya Angelou, I say "thank you" for reminding us of this unalterable truth that God loves us all, no matter what.
Peace and Blessings,