When I declare that I am a Christian, Maya Angelou and I have something in common. Despite our vastly different backgrounds, we both share an unwavering commitment to the Christian faith. Maya Angelou was a renowned poet, civil rights activist, and author who wrote extensively on her Christian upbringing and her spiritual journey. Being a Christian Maya Angelou exemplified the Christian faith through her powerful words and life-long work in the civil rights and equality movements. In doing so, she brought moments of contemplation and faith to the everyday lives of millions of people across the globe.
Like Maya Angelou, being a Christian is a way of life for me. I strive to live out the teachings of Jesus in my day to day life, from showing kindness and compassion to others to devoting myself to service. Taking an active role in my faith keeps me connected to the higher power and inspires me to be a better human being. I may not be well-known, nor do my efforts have a far reaching impact like Maya Angelou’s; however, I believe my life is made more enriched by dedicating myself to service and trying to always be caught up in God’s grace.
The same can be said for Maya Angelou and the impact of her faith. She used her life experiences and convictions to address difficult questions of justice and inequality. It was her commitment to the Christian gospel that inspired her to stand up against wrong-doing and empower those who society had forgotten. Her faith encouraged her to make a stand against racism, sexism, and prejudice, and her countless speeches, letters, and works of literature still have a profound effect today.
For me, being a Christian Maya Angelou has become a role model. I try to live out my faith in the same manner she did. This often means going out of my comfort zone and standing up for what’s right. I spend time in prayer, study the scriptures, and work to bring about the kingdom of God on earth. In doing so, I feel I follow in Maya Angelou’s footsteps and strive to bring about her same level of inspiration and hope to those around me.
Maya Angelou was a lifelong fighter for justice and civil rights. As a Christian, she saw it as her duty to stand up for what was right. She was an ardent follower of the Bible and it’s teachings on justice, mercy and compassion. With this, she helped inform her activism and her battles against racism and sexism.
Her Christian faith drew her to work in social causes, and she was involved in some of the largest civil rights demonstrations of the time. This included the appointment of Rosa Parks to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, where she led a march of 500,000 people to the Washington Monument. This demonstration was seen as one of the largest displays of civil disobedience in the world and was a key moment in the civil rights movement.
Maya Angelou’s activism was informed by her faith. It was her take on the Christian faith and its purpose in her life that drove her to take action for the oppressed and fight for justice. Her activism is still seen as meaningful and impactful today, and it is an example of how the Christian faith can be used to bring about change and inspire positive social change.
Her faith was also what drove her to use her voice and influence to bring attention to socially and politically relevant issues. She repeated many times, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer; it sings because it has a song.” For Maya Angelou, it was a lesson in faith and a reminder that everyone has a voice and it is our duty to use it.
Finding Inner Strength
For Maya Angelou, the Christian faith was not only a source of strength, but it was also a way she drew strength from the divine in times of difficulty. In ‘Still I Rise’, she wrote: “You may shoot me with your words, you may cut me with your eyes, you may kill me with your hatefulness, but still, like air, I’ll rise.”
The strength of Maya Angelou’s faith is often evidenced in her poetry. In her work, she expressed a deep Christian faith that provided her comfort and understanding. Her faith was a source of strength in her times of difficulty and it guided her as she faced her greatest challenges.
Maya Angelou’s faith was also exhibited through her unwavering belief in the power of love. She wrote “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope”, a poignant reminder that love is the key to understanding each other and unlocking our doors to kindness and acceptance.
Maya Angelou showed how being a Christian can be an anchor and a source of strength, even in the most difficult of times.
Spirituality and Search for Meaning
Maya Angelou’s Christianity was part of her search for self-knowledge, understanding, and the pursuit of a higher power. Though she was born into the Baptist faith, following her mother’s beliefs, she went on to explore other forms of spirituality and religion.
In her later works, such as her poem ‘On Growing Older’, as well as her autobiography, The Heart of a Woman, Maya Angelou often wrote of her spiritual journey and growth. Willow Weep For Me speaks of her commitment to a universal spiritual path, spiritual healing and the love of God. She often cites her faith as something that brought her comfort, peace and understanding.
In her later years, she incorporated her Christian faith with her exploration into Eastern philosophy and Buddhism. Though she focused on changing her own life, she went on to speak out against the human sufferings caused by religion and its structure. Her words still ring true today, as religion is often politicized and used to capitalize power and influence.
Maya Angelou was a deeply spiritual person, as well as being a Christian. Through her life, she taught us how to be more accepting of each other’s paths and to continuously learn new things.
Art and Education
Maya Angelou was an artist, an educator and a Christian. She used her art to tackle social issues and to bring about positive change. Her faith was an important part of her identity, and her works of literature and poetry often mention her faith and its role in her life.
In her poem ‘And Still I Rise’, Angelou expresses the resilience and strength of the Christian faith. Through it, she speaks to the courage and strength found within, and affirms that despite any obstacles you may face, you can rise above them.
Maya Angelou was a professor and lecturer, but she also used her art to educate. Through her poetry, she tackled difficult social topics, such as racism and economic inequality. Her faith was an integral part of the way she taught and contributed to inspiring those around her to make a positive difference.
In this way, Maya Angelou spread her powerful message of love, acceptance and overcoming difficulties. Her works and her lectures were instrumental in inspiring others to rise above their circumstances and to use their gifts to make positive changes.
In Maya Angelou’s life, her Christian faith played a key role. From her unconditional love to her unwavering commitment to justice, her faith was her compass in life. By being a Christian Maya Angelou, I strive to live out the same values and principles she exemplified in her work, her activism and in her life.