At age 14, I was going through the challenges that most teenagers typically go through. Then my aunt, Dr. Maya Angelou, introduced me to Daily Word. She taught me to know that, despite negative appearances, God is all there is. Knowing this and having Daily Word saved me from taking missteps that many teenagers are apt to take.
As the daughter of her brother Bailey, whom she has written about in her books, I am Aunt Maya’s only niece, and she is my only aunt. She and I have a very close and loving relationship.
When I was a child, she instilled in me the truth of the oneness of all people. She took me to several churches in San Francisco where she lived. On many occasions we attended the Christian Science church and the Unity church there.
I have three grown children, and all of them read Daily Word—as do their children. Four generations of our family are currently reading it. We give Daily Word as Christmas and birthday gifts. Often the guests in our homes find a current copy on their bedside tables. It has been a tool for our upliftment and encouragement during times of flagging faith, joyous celebration, and times of tremendous loss.
In every Daily Word, the reader is given an invitation to call or write the Silent Unity prayer ministry. Thirteen years ago I lost a son to HIV—a very traumatic experience for me. While he was sick and prior to his passing, I requested the prayer support of Silent Unity many times. I am so thankful for Silent Unity and its prayer network of people all over the world.
I live about a 10-minute drive from Aunt Maya. She believes our lives are extended by several years when someone who loves us is living within a 10-mile radius of where we live. When she is traveling, whatever city or state she happens to be in, I call her and read the word for the day to her.
No matter what the message for the day is, it fits with something that is happening in my life or in the life of someone I know. I have e-mailed and faxed Daily Word messages to friends and family all over the world. I have copies of Unity Magazine® and Daily Word that I have saved, and I share them with friends and family near and far. This is a good way to keep in touch with those I love and to stay in touch with Spirit.
I am Aunt Maya’s archivist, event planner, and conservationist of her art collection, which includes an extensive outdoor sculpture garden. When she noticed that the swimming pool near the garden wasn’t being used, Aunt Maya decided it needed to be filled in and a dance floor built over it.
After obtaining the licenses for the project, I located a carpenter who offered a wonderful design for the dance floor. One day as he was leaving, he said, “Wait a minute, Ms. Johnson. Let me give you something.” I said okay, and he handed me a page from Daily Word. I believe Spirit led him to do this. When I told Aunt Maya, she said, “Oh, yes! He’s our man!”
You never know where or when Daily Word will turn up, and I am thankful for all in the Unity family. The magazine gives me hope. As a human being, I am subject to the ups and downs of life, but when I start my morning with Daily Word, I set my course for the day—a very elevated course.
The power contained in words cannot be minimized. Words can be the healing tools of the Divine. Used in conjunction with abiding faith, words can heal and uplift individuals and all of humanity.