Monday, December 21, 2009

Remembering Oral

I’ve been meaning to write a post about Oral Roberts since I heard about his passing last week. He and the university that he started impacted my life in so many ways – it was a time when I wrestled with what I really believed, found the man of my dreams, and learned to be comfortable in my skin.

Oral was no longer living in Tulsa when I went to ORU, but he visited several times and one of my fondest memories include watching over 2,000 students stand up in chapel making an “O” with their arms and chanting “OOOOOOOOOOO…” as Oral walked into Chapel. He was larger than life and regardless if I was loving ORU that day or frustrated with the institution, he never ceased to mesmerize me - (oh, and I was also fascinated by his big ears – seriously, they were huge).

My friend Sarah Bessey wrote a lovely blog about Oral that seemed to capture my thoughts much more eloquently & brilliantly than I could ever do – here is an excerpt that stood out to me:

In chapel, we were surrounded by words written on the walls. The words that Oral felt God speak to him about the founding of the university (most of us can still recite it):

"Raise up your students to hear My voice,
To go where My light is dim,
My voice is heard small,
And My healing power not known,
even to the uttermost bounds of the earth.
Their work will exceed yours
and in this, I am well pleased."

I am happy for Oral. I am happy that he is with his "darling wife, Evelyn" (as he never failed to refer to her) at last. I am happy that he is, I believe, resting in the arms of Jesus, hearing the words "Well done, my good and faithful servant." I am thankful he lived to see his university become strong again, headed towards a bright future. I am thankful for his every act of obedience, for starting ORU and reminding us every day that it was "forged in the fires of healing evangelism." For his leadership, his guts and his love. I am thankful for his three hour long sermons, right over lunchtime. I am thankful for his memoirs, his big ears, his "expect a miracle!" and "something good is going to happen to you"s. I am grateful for his life. His legacy lives on in millions of us, all over the world.

Also, I am grateful for how uncomfortable he makes me. For how he makes me wonder if my plans and dreams are too small, how he makes me wonder if I am putting God in a box, how he challenges me to open wide my expectations, my heart and my obedience to all that God is and has and does.

I encourage you to read the rest of her post at:

And I’m left today asking the same question as Sarah – “Are my plans too small? Am I being obedient to all that God is asking me to do?”

If you are interested in hearing more about the life of Oral Roberts you can watch his memorial service live today at 2pm CST at:


Sarah Bessey said...

Thanks, Paige. I am watching the memorial start from here now.

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