|River Jordan speaks at Palms Conference Center|
“Sometimes the life chooses you,” she said. “You don’t choose the life.”
River, the author of “Praying for Strangers,” is a Panama City native now based in Nashville. She spoke at the fundraiser to benefit the Panama City Rescue Mission’s Bethel Village program for women and children, which is working to purchase new mattresses for the shelter, with the help of The Sleep Center in Panama City.
“So many of us think of prayer as a bedtime activity, as we prepare for sleep,” said Cathy Byrd, director of the Women and Family Ministries for the Mission. “So this is a nice tie-in with our campaign. River shows us we can pray anywhere, anytime, for anyone.”
(For more details on the fundraising effort, visit PCRMission.org.)
|Fran, River and Leah (mom)|
Clearly, as she says, she also never wants to be “trapped in the box” that people might want to imagine for her.
I first met River when she was executive director of the Gulf Coast Children’s Advocacy Center in Panama City. In her spare time, she was working on a novel that became her debut, “The Gin Girl.” Since then, she has published another three novels and two non-fiction books, including “Praying for Strangers.”
River started praying for strangers in 2009, as her sons were deployed to the Middle East and she realized she was selfishly praying for their safety. Instead, she vowed to pray for the strangers she met each day. She never meant to tell any of them that she prayed for them, and she never expected to know how her prayers might be received.
“It was never about anything except God’s love and blessings and perfect peace,” she said. “That they be loved, they be warm, that they be fed, or whatever (their need) may be.”
|Me and River|
“I don’t ‘look’ at the people in that moment,” she said. “I ‘behold’ them. I don’t judge them. I see them.”
And isn’t that, essentially, the prayer of everyone?
This is my Undercurrents column for PanamaCity.com and The News Herald this week.