Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Everyone welcome at the Church of Oprah:
"You really could put 'Reverend' in front of her name," said Brenda V. Johnson, a former librarian who had come with her friend, Marvel L. Smith, an elementary school principal. Both women were from suburban Prince George's County, one of the most affluent majority-black jurisdictions in the country.

"She just has the ability to connect on so many levels -- your emotional needs, physical needs, psychological needs," Johnson said. Smith added: "It's her humanity. Everybody goes through the same things she goes through, but she has the willingness to share it."

It's easy to make fun of what amounts to our great national quest for "empowerment" or "self-actualization" -- the terms themselves sound slightly ridiculous -- but that search is a great force in modern American life....

Oprah's great gift, and the foundation of her lay ministry, is her understanding that even women who have enjoyed great success in their personal and professional lives can still struggle to find meaning and fulfillment, and that they can learn from Oprah's own search for the same things.

Oprah gets fat, Oprah goes on a diet, Oprah loses the weight, Oprah gains it back, Oprah loses it again, maybe this time for good. Oprah fights an ongoing battle with her hair. Oprah's relationship with her significant other seems to lack something, since she and Steadman never get married, but she hangs in there with him anyway. Oprah has a best friend, Gayle, who sticks with her through everything. Oprah makes charitable gifts. Oprah promotes books, mostly by women writers or with strong female characters, many of them difficult books that offer not comfort but more questions.

It all makes me want to cry and discuss my inner demons. *sniff sniff*

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