>Image by Story Accents via FlickrYou know, I always thought Oprah was a little “New Age-y.” Well, actually, I always thought she was VERY “New Age-y.” I can’t say I watched more than a dozen of her shows in full over the years, but I occasionally caught one when changing channels and finding an interesting guest or topic being discussed. I’d think she was Christian, then maybe-kinda-sorta Christian, then I’d think she surrounded herself with magic crystals that affirmed her as human being and kept her in relationship with all of her followers in a little Oprah-cult. Perhaps not that bad, but I think she’s been purposely hard to pin down when it comes to her beliefs. My guess is that’s one of the things that makes her so accessible to millions of viewers.
Maybe she’s a seeker who embraces the call to love and to serve and accept (some things those of us who call ourselves Christian everyday can struggle with). And yet I can’t help but think she’d have a hard time with some of standard beliefs of Christianity…such as the words of the Apostles’ Creed. Moreover, I know that she’s ruffled more than a few Christian feathers with all of her various nods to self-help and individualism and her comment at one point, I believe, that Jesus isn’t the ONLY way of salvation. She always seems to be appealing to a much larger base than traditional Christianity would allow.
Regardless, when she speaks, she has a large audience. Her words are taken seriously by lots of folks out there. So, it is with some surprise that I read her comments on her final show yesterday. You can read the whole thing over here.
“People often ask me, What is the secret of success of the show? How have we lasted 25 years? I nonjokingly say, ‘My team and Jesus.’ Because nothing but the hand of God has made this possible for me. … I know I’ve never been alone, and you haven’t either. And I know that 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 have felt the presence of God my whole life. Even when I didn’t have a name for it, I could feel the 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, you can ignore it or you can know it. Know it. It’s always there speaking to you and waiting for you to hear it in every move, in every decision. I wait and I listen. I’m still—I wait and listen for the guidance that’s greater than my meager mind.
“The only time I’ve ever made mistakes is when I didn’t listen. So what I know is, God is love and God is life, and your life is always speaking to you. First in whispers. … It’s subtle, those whispers. And if you don’t pay attention to the whispers, it gets louder and louder. It’s like getting thumped upside the head, like my grandmother used to do. … You don’t pay attention to that, it’s like getting a brick upside your head. You don’t pay attention to that, the whole brick wall falls down. That’s the pattern I’ve seen in my life, and it’s played out over and over again on this show.
“So, audience, I want to keep in touch. I want you to jot down my new email address: Oprah@Oprah.com—easy to remember, huh? This is going to be my personal email account for all of you. When you get something in your in-box from me, it will be from me directly, and I’ll be reading as many of your emails as I can as I move to my next life on OWN. I want you to know that what you have to say matters to me. I understand the manifestation of grace and God, so I know that there are no coincidences. There are none. Only divine order here.
Until we meet again . . . to God be the Glory.”
“My team and Jesus.” “I’ve felt the presence of God my whole life.” “God is love and God is life.” “Divine order.” “To God be the Glory.” There’s a lot here.
Yet, I can’t help but think it would be an interesting process to sit down and talk theology with Oprah. I wonder just how dissimilar our understandings of God would be.