One week after we lost our family member, our consciousness, our hope, our affirmation, our beauty, our love, I do what she, being Dr. Maya Angelou shared in an interview with Dave Chappelle, “I write it.” This was one of the answers she provided in response to the question, “What do you do with anger?” Although this interview was done in 2006, I find it relevant to me in this moment. I have been unable to write for the last two weeks, because as difficult as it is to admit, I’ve been angry. Angry at situations, angry at people, angry at being dismissed, angry at being overlooked, angry at being considered, angry at being disrespected, angry at anger!
Its not me. Its not who I was created to be. It doesn’t reflect being”fearfully and wonderfully made in his image.” What is even more interesting to me is that its one thing to be angered by folk who do not profess to understand you or your beliefs and just don’t care; but its a whole different account for folks who rely upon your anointing to encourage them and somehow elect to place you in circumstances with their words and/or actions compromise it. Yes, being angry, is not what I would share that I’m most proud of. Yes, I am a believer, but before that, I am a sinner, saved by grace. Over the last few weeks, that grace has been tested, tried and twisted. But glory to God, its strong – not because of me, but because of Him. I am reminded His grace is sufficient and His strength is made perfect in weakness. I’m good with this portion of 2 Corinthians 12:9, but where my conflict emerges is “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities…” Let’s just say, I haven’t been so glad, ergo, back to my original declaration about anger.
It doesn’t happen often, the anger thing. I can usually move past circumstances pretty quickly. That doesn’t mean I won’t reflect and process, both internally and externally, but then I’m done. Yet a few recent situations that have been directed, directly at me, have compromised my usual tactics. I do not consider myself to be a mean spirited person, and I work to ensure that the company I keep operates within the parameters of the fruit of the spirit. Yet, as you know, we are in the world and we must engage with those who operate in their own spirit…whatever that may be. And further, their projections to you and me, particularly when we have declared and decreed being a believer, are clear and present and there’s danger. When that happens, we must become even more sophisticated with our weaponry. In order to encourage myself, I speedily apply my arsenal to to the situation at hand. My bunker is comprised of praise! I am reminded that it has been growing and building over a long period of time, and it began as a result of trials. Trials originally designed as Bishop T.D. Jakes said, “to bring out what God has placed on the inside.”
Its not important for the enemy and his imps to understand why I am reading the Word, listening to my worship music, dancing before the Lord, ushering in his presence in every place I find myself, praying and inviting him into spaces that are problematic, fasting, laying prostrate, and writing – but it is important to the God of my salvation. Through my regimen, I can express to him, my heart. I can ask for forgiveness of the thoughts that have not been so pleasing about those attempting to cause me harm. And I can rest assured that I will be heard and that no matter what is going on and being presented before me, He’s got my back, I am His child and I am loved by Him. He is my secret place, where Darwin Hobbs describes, where He and I can reason together. Its through those most intimate moments that my anger subsides and diminishes. Its the space where I am reminded that salvation extends not only to me, but to my enemies as well. I am comforted to know that I’m not forgotten and that He really does have my best interests at heart despite what I am experiencing in the natural. I feel a restoration of peace and feel compelled to believe and walk out, the rest of 2 Corinthians 12:9 that reads, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” I can glory in my trouble, because the hand of God is protecting me and over me and my situation. It doesn’t mean everything goes away. The difficulty that created to disarm me may very well still be present, but also present is His presence – in me and my situation – it is resting upon me and allows me to walk in the liberty that Christ provided at Calvary.
So as the state of North Carolina prepares to bid farewell to our universal treasure, Dr. Maya Angelou, let us be reminded of one word that she continually reminded us to do – to love. She did not offer a contingency with it. She simply stated, love. I believe God would concur.