I considered titling this post “Everything I Thought I Knew About River’s New Book When I Didn’t Know Squat”, but I decided that a) it was a bit long and b) I shouldn’t use squat in the title if I want y’all to take me seriously. And I do.
So, let’s start with the facts. Tomorrow marks the release of novelist River Jordan’s latest book, “Praying for Strangers”, an Adventure of the Human Spirit. This evening, she’ll be on my radio talk show, ATS LIVE 5:00-6:00 PM CST, on TALK540 KMLB. I’m honored to kick off the media and book tour. If you aren’t local, you can join us through my streaming link.
I knew I would enjoy this book. I just didn’t know how much. In the interest of full disclosure, River is a very good friend. Thanks to a 21 event/14 day book tour we did together in the Spring of ’10, we know more about each other than either of us would care to share.
In other words, I know the author. I thought I knew the book. I mean, I’ve been there on River’s journey, so to speak. I knew it was in the works before a word was put on paper. I watched it in progress, or at least I saw what could be seen. I’ve seen River stop, do an about face and dissapear to hunt down someone she simply must talk to/connect with, when we were already a day late and a dollar short (literally) for the next book event. So, forgive me for assuming I knew what was unfolding around me. Little did I know how multi-layered the story being written in River’s heart and the hearts of those crossing her path on this wild adventure of the human spirit. But let’s back up, and start at the beginning…
As 2009 approached, New Year’s resolutions were the last thing on River Jordan’s mind. Her sons were both about to go off to war and all she could do was pray for their safety and hope to maintain her strength, until she unexpectedly came upon the perfect New Year’s resolution-one that focused on others instead of herself. She would pray for a complete stranger every single day for a year.
In Praying for Strangers, River Jordan tells of her amazing personal journey of uncovering the needs of the human heart as she prayed her way through the year for people she had never met before. The discovery that Jordan made along the journey was not simply that her prayers touched the lives of these strangers, but that the unexpected connections she made with other people would be a profound experience that would change her life forever.
The book I expected to read, a sweet tale of strangers passing in the night– or day– was not the book I lost myself in from the very first page. Praying for Strangers is not a book. It’s an experience and you need to take it. Open it and walk into River’s world. Take her challenge and see if you ever look at people the same way.