A Month of Strangers

A few days ago I asked a few friends  and people at large if they would join me in taking a 30 day opportunity to pray for a stranger each day. I look forward to their words and impressions as the month of May wore on. IN the meantime, I’ve continued to pray for people I passed in the stores and elsewhere but as I was wrapping up the final pages of the Praying for Strangers book for Penguin I didn’t bring those words to this space as often as I would have liked.  Rarely actually as I had to continue putting words to the page. But in the days ahead I look forward to writing more, sharing more, and listening more through this space.

One of the things that has remained paramount to me in my personal experience of doing this is that the newness never wore off. And some of the greatest comments from the strangers themselves have been “You inspire me. I could do this.”

Still – so many of these meetings are just when I least expect it, when I’m having one of those days where I refuse to tell anyone they are my stranger but the next thing you know – I’m leaving the jeep in park and making a beeline for woman in the parking lot. Now, don’t get me wrong – I don’t scream HEY Stranger from a distance. Little by Little, more and more – I put out my hand and introduce myself. And you just don’t know how strange that is for me in the middle of the day, in the middle of my deadlines and busy life -that is unless you read the book. Suffice to say the changes in me have been significant.

My  awareness of other people and my ability to connect with them on a personal level has grown exponentially this past year. And this resolution thing? It looks like it’s moved in and taken up permanent residence in my life.

What’s your story? How has the month touched, challenged, or impressed you?

Thank you so much for joining the endeavor even if it was for only one day.

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About River Jordan

Writer, Creative Conversator, Radio Producer/Host
This entry was posted in Prayer, Spirituality, Story. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Month of Strangers

  1. Janis says:

    Hi River, I spring from long line of intercessors, so praying for strangers wasn’t a stretch, just a physical challange. I live eleven miles from town and am working on book. I go for days without seeing a strange face. It became a hunt for prey – a kind-hearted hunt. If my daughter was talking of one of their patients (she works in peds neurology at Shands/UF) I’d stop her and say, “Wait! They’re a stranger! Let’s pray!” and off we’d go. I think the whole project broaded my prayer tent and I hope to continue to be on the hunt for strangers to pray for the rest of the summer and maybe the rest of my life. It brings vitality to your prayerlife and since your prayers all out with air of mystery, the blessings of praying for the unknown also return through unexpected doors.

  2. I did not pray everyday for a stranger as I had hoped. And even though my prayers were few and far between, sadly, the experience was deeply moving. I chose to pray for those who for some reason or another had really made me mad! The amazing thing was that when I stopped to pray for them I saw them differently. I didn’t see a rude hotel clerk or a rushed, insensitive nurse. I saw someone who was hurting, who had had a difficult day too, who was quite possibly carrying a burden much heavier than mine. I felt empathy and compassion where I had only felt frustration and anger – truly the transforming power of prayer!

  3. River Jordan says:

    Susan,

    I just love the way you took the Praying for Strangers idea and made it your own. And more than that – the outcome of how you began to see people differently. The same thing happened to me and to others who did this. Suddenly, they were just seeing people through a different lens. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story.

    River

  4. River Jordan says:

    Janis,

    I know people have been doing this who never leave the farm and you are literally one of those people in that camp and I hope you stay there. The world needs your stories. You are an example of how often a life can find it’s way to our door without us ever walking through it. Thanks for the inspiration and the power!

    River

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