Thus saith the Lord unto His people:
Lo, ye have touched only the fringes.
Yea, thou hast lingered upon the shore lines.
Launch out, yea, launch out upon the
vast bosom of My love and mercy, yea,
My mighty power and limitless resources.
For lo, if thou wouldst enter into all that I have for thee,
thou must walk by faith upon the waters.
Thou must relinquish forever thy doubts;
and thy thoughts of self-preservation thou must forever cast aside.
For I will carry thee, and I will sustain thee by My power
in the ways that I have chosen and prepared for thee.
Thou shalt not take even the first step in thine own strength.
For thou art not able in thyself -
even as flesh is ever unable to walk the way of the Spirit.
But Mine arm shall uphold thee,
and the power of My Spirit shall bear thee up.
Yea, thou shalt walk upon the waves,
and the storm shall but drive thee more quickly to the desired port.
Chart and compass shalt thou not need,
for lo, My Spirit shall direct thy goings,
and are not the winds held in My fist?
Be not fearful but believing.
LARRY KING: She's one of the most compelling voices in American literature -- poet, teacher, best-selling author, activist, and we're honored to end tonight's LARRY KING LIVE with some reflections on this hurricane from Dr. Maya Angelou.
MAYA ANGELOU, POET/AUTHOR: When land became water, and water began to think it was God, consuming lives here, leaving lives there, swallowing buildings, devouring cities, intoxicated with its power, mighty power, and the American people were tested.
As a result of our tumultuousness, there abides in the American psyche an idea so powerful it ennoble us, and lifts us high above the problems which beset us. It can, in fact, evict fear. It can rest despair from its lodging. Simply put, the idea is, yes, I can. I am an American, and yes, I can. I can overcome.
The one-time slave says, I have proved and am proving that I can overcome slavery. The one-time slave owner says, I have proved and I am proving that I can overcome slavery. The North can say, I have proved and am still proving that I can overcome the Civil War. The South can say, I have proved and I am still proving that I can overcome the Civil War.
With crime rampant in our streets, the American can say, our masses have not turned into masses of criminals. Even with blissful peace, Americans can say, we have not been lulled into a contented laziness.
The song that was so needed 100 years ago when it was written, so needed 50 years ago when it was used in the civil rights movement, is of great use to us these days, while we are still reeling from the onslaught of the violent hurricane. The song is "We Shall Overcome." We shall overcome. We shall overcome, I pray. Deep in my eyes, I do believe we shall overcome. Let us all pray and work to enact it.
I am Maya Angelou, and I am an American.