Author and poet Maya Angelou’s final tweet has been shared more than 90,000 since her death Wednesday morning.
When author and poet Maya Angelou passed away Wednesday morning at age 86, people around the world immediately began reflecting on the many contributions she made to our culture through various art forms.
Many of her most inspirational quotes over the years have been posted on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and elsewhere and have been shared countless times.
One of my favorite Angelou quotes, and certainly one of her best-known, is this one:
“People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
This quote alone is one Christians should keep in mind as they minister to people around them. Christ Himself presented himself as a humble servant, a man who was interested in bringing people to the table, not chasing them away, and in doing so, he inspired people who would otherwise have been lost to sin and taught people who seemed to assume they were immune to it.
But it is Angelou’s final tweet that has really left its mark, having been retweeted more than 90,000 times since news of her passing broke:
Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God.
— Maya Angelou (@DrMayaAngelou) May 23, 2014
For me, and I’m sure for many other Christians, the trick is trying to figure out when what we hear in the quietude is truly God’s voice and when it’s truly our own.
There are times when a realization will just come to me, particularly if I’ve really been seeking answers on something. There are times when that realization was along a completely different path from anywhere my mind had even started to travel. I think those are moments for me that God is speaking versus my own conscience.
But maybe the voice of our conscience is at least partially powered by God, too.
I think all Christians want to know that they’re hearing from God. Especially when what they’re hearing makes sense.
Many of us are quickly told, often by Christians who act as though they are more interested in us doing things their way than God’s, though they likely assume their way always is God’s, the message of Proverbs 3:5:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding”
On some level, we have to rely on our own understanding, because we have to take in God’s Word and apply it appropriately to our lives.
The second half of the line from Proverbs, (verse 6), adds:
“in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
If we submit to God, God will make our paths straight. How?
Through speaking to us, speaking into our lives.
And we have to find the courage to, as Angelou said, listen for the voice of God and find confidence and truth in what we hear.