Can we talk Oprah for just a second?

I was never a huge fan of her show, after all, rumor was {at least among right wing conservative} she was a Universalist, spewing her slanted truths all over the airwaves. I’m not making that up. That’s what I was told. There was a “church of Oprah”. Oprah doesn’t believe in God and said that Jesus wasn’t the only way to God. Yada, yada, yada. To an extent, I believed it…but the real reason I didn’t watch her show is, I wasn’t home. I’ve never been home in the 4 o’clock hour on a regular basis in my life, and probably more importantly, for the vast majority of my 20’s I didn’t really have/watch a tv. But, all that changed a couple weeks/months ago.

I started watching the “Season 25: Behind the Scenes” on the OWN network. I LOVE behind the scenes footage of just about anything. I started watching how she interacted with her staff. There was certainly a business edge to her, but she is gracious, compassionate, she doesn’t hammer down on mistakes, she doesn’t place blame where it shouldn’t be. For instance, in the Australia episode the helicopter ran out of gas. So, there’s 300 people on the top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, Oprah included, and the helicopter has to turn around and go get gas. They’re stranded for 24 minutes. Oprah reacts like just about anybody else would, she’s frustrated. The producer of the show is freaking out. After the helicopter comes back and they get the shot, there’s a brief moment where you see Oprah go up to the producer in the debrief room. The producer is crying. This is a HUGE fail in her book. Oprah looks her in the eyes, tells her to chin up, and that there was no way she could foresee it, so stop blaming yourself and move on. That’s gracious.

Then there’s the episode with James Frey. In fact, there were 2 of them. He’s the dude who wrote Million Little Pieces, and it was supposed to be a memoir, but then it turned out that it wasn’t. Whoops. Apparently, Oprah had him on the show during the scandal {because she’d chosen his book for her book club, supported him, and then felt lied to} and she really let him have it. In a way that nobody wants to have it handed to them on national television. People told her she was too harsh, she didn’t see it. Two years go by and she has to make a decision about whether or not to have Sarah Palin on the show. Every morning she’s prays and that particular morning she was praying for guidance, got into the shower and heard “The voice within me” say, “don’t make the same mistake you made with James Frey”. Then she heard it again. In that moment she knew that she had wronged him. So…pay attention…she wept in the shower, got out of the shower, called her assistant and said, “Find James Frey today. I have to talk to him.” People…this is one of the most POWERFUL women in the world. In the freaking world! And we’re talking about an event that had happened 2 years before this. She calls up James Frey and APOLOGIZES to him because she had wronged him. Are you kidding me? How many of us are that humble? How many of us are that sensitive to the voice of God? Then, she waits 3 more years. It’s her last season. it’s her last 6 {I think it’s 6, I could be wrong} hours of television. Two of those hours are being planned by her producers, one is her favorite guests of all time, and one of them is her “love letter to her audience”, she gives James the other 2 hours. She gives him 2 HOURS of her last 6 on the air in order to redeem him. Seriously, I started seeing Jesus all over this lady when I watched those episodes.

Let’s talk about how her vision for the show was “to give a voice to the voiceless”. Um, hello? Is that not the gospel? She wanted to break cycles of addiction and poverty. She wanted to change generations, to bring Light and Freedom into the darkness. She sent African American men to college so that they could change the cycles that so viciously enslave their lives. She gave MILLIONS away to help the broken, the needy, the afflicted. Go read Isaiah 58. She loves God. And because she loves God she loves others.

Here’s what I think. I think that years ago she made a decision that her show was not going to be about religion. That she wouldn’t make that divisive line so that she could reach the multitudes with love. I think she has stayed away from declaring Jesus was “The Way” publicly because that’s not what her show was about. So, she called prayer “meditation”, she called the Holy Spirit “the Voice within me”, she used blanket terms to describe the God that she serves. However, in her daily life, she wakes up every morning and seeks the will of God for every move that she makes. Um, I can’t say that I do that and I publicly declare Jesus is the Son of God. Anyways…then she decided to end her show, and then she had one last show to do. When she walked on stage I knew in my gut that Oprah was about to start preaching. Because that’s what you do with your final breath. When your time is limited you tell people what’s of the utmost importance to you….you know what she said, in not so many words, “Love God, Love others.” And if you want to know what God she’s talking about…it’s Jesus, the Alpha and Omega, the Omnipotent, The God who IS LOVE, and who LOVES you. The God who speaks to you…do you want to know what he sounds like? He sounds like this…and then she told people how to hear to voice of God. She told people that he loves them and that he’s waiting for them. She told people that her life reflects the grace of God and that it’s only by His grace…not her own, that she was able to do what she did for 25 years. She told people that they were WORTH something…just because they’re alive. She told America to go to your spouse, your child and tell them, “I see you. I hear you. And what you say MATTERS to me.” Do you know how powerful those sentences are? Do you know how much freedom those sentences can bring to somebody’s life?

I watched Oprah in the winter of her show. The final hours. And in those final hours I found somebody who is living out the calling of God in their life. Who gives Glory and honor to God. Who walks out the gospel in their daily life. Who lives what they say they believe. It was refreshing. It is invigorating. And it is such an example of how Christians are supposed to live their life. So, if you haven’t seen her final episode, I beg you…please watch it. That woman has a ton of wisdom and she’s sharing it freely with you.

K. Go live your best life!

{I just had to put that there. Oh, and can we talk Nate Berkus tomorrow? Please?}

If you’re interested….this link will take you to the script from yesterday’s show…it’s either been edited a little bit or the “Alpha Omega” part was spontaneous. Either way….read it, it’s good stuff.

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5 responses to “Can we talk Oprah for just a second?

  1. Ahh…so eloquently put and EXACTLY how i feel..i was with her through it all and there is no denying the finale episode..it was God inspired and annointed..Oprah really is my bff:)

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed reading that post. It was well said and while I have been a daily Oprah watcher, I’ve seen her show enough to agree with you. Well said. Now I can’t wait to see what you have to say about Nate ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. All but a sentence and a half of the first paragraph (always had/watched tv) is exactly how I felt about Oprah. I wanted to like her, but stumbled across some disturbing stuff regarding her spiritual beliefs that turned me off completely. So glad you posted this…can’t wait to check out her last show! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. What a blessing when we are able to see Christ in others. Thanks for this great reflection. I’m checking out the script now.

  5. Awesome post Rebecca!! Thanks for the info about Oprah. Very eye opening. This brought me to tears…

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