Bathed In Prayer
I had the great privilege, once again, of spending an evening with Jan Karon recently. You may recall that she is the noted author of the popular "Mitford" and "Father Tim" series. This was the second time in two years that I have been able to meet her in person, this time at a local church here in Asheville. Just like the first time I met her, I found her to be gracious and charming. She has the ability to make you feel as if you are the only person in the room when she talks with you. She greeted everyone by taking their hand, as you see her doing with my friend, Sharon, and I saw her hug many people as they shared stories with her. One young man brought her a gift and we later learned that he credits her writing with being instrumental in his decision to go into the ministry.
I was excited to receive an autographed copy of her latest book, Bathed In Prayer. It is a collection of Father Tim's prayers, sermons and reflections from the Mitford Series and they are all based on prayer.
During the formal part of the event, Ms. Karon answered questions asked by one of the pastors of the church. There were also some pre-written questions submitted in advance by members in the audience. She spoke about how faith had been a part of her life as a child, how listening to the dialects of people she knew as a child found their way into her writing, and about how she committed her life to the Lord in her forties. I have heard her describe her conversion story, more than once, as "coming to the end of herself." She told us of how all of her writing is bathed in prayer, hence the name of her latest book. She asked us to say the word "bathed" and to think how that word feels when we say it. The word seems to roll gently on our tongues, doesn't it?
I looked up the definition of "bathed" on dictionary.com and this is the definition that appeared:
a washing or immersion of something, especially the body, in water, steam, etc., as for cleansing or medical treatment
I have been thinking a lot about what Jan had to say about the phrase, "bathed in prayer." How prayer is truly something I need to immerse my life in. All parts of my life. Everything. From head to toe. Leaving no part untouched by prayer. Just like when I bathe and I totally immerse my body in the water, leaving no part untouched. How can I be truly clean otherwise? Just as water is used for cleansing our bodies, prayer is a cleansing of our souls. And yet so much more. It is communion with the living Lord, the creator of the universe. It is communication with my Lord and Savior. It is talking, and hopefully listening as well, to the One who knows me and loves me best.
Tell me dear readers....have you bathed today?
You know what I mean.
And, now, I cannot end this post without showing you Jan Karon's shoes! She literally sparkled from head to toe and I thought these were some of the cutest shoes I have ever seen. If you have read any of the Mitford Series books think of "Cynthia" when you see these shoes!
Apologies that some of these pictures are blurry. There were lots of people milling about snapping lots of photos and I was snapping quickly at times to get a shot. I did my humble best with the camera, trying not to be in her face.
How exciting for you and Sharon to spend another evening with Jan Karon!! She is so classy, and what fun shoes!! I had not considered the term "bathed in prayer" but now see how it should be a goal, more of a focus. I pray a lot, but this term conjurs up something different. To me, it means more focused, doing more listening, and coming away feeling the time was spent with a greater connection to the Lord. Something I know I can use more of in my life.
Beautiful post, Debbie. Thank you. When Imsaw that Akan Karon was going to be in Asheville this week (while I was NOT), I suspected you might go to see her again. I am so glad you got to! And her shoes are priceless. Thank you for your pictures and your inspiring reflections.
Yes, I feel that bathing in prayer does aim for a greater connection with the Lord, Karen. I continue to work on "listening" for God's voice in my life. It's hard for me because I like to do the talking!
Thank you, Laura. It was, indeed, a very special evening.
How exciting and what a way to spend an evening. Bathed in prayer...I love the concept. Totally cleansed and submerged in prayer and the word. Yes, I get it. Lovely thought...having prayer touch ever part of one's life! Gives us all something to work toward. TFS.
Hi Debbie! How wonderful it is that you were able to meet and hear Jan Karon speak again! I haven't met her, yet, like you, I have met her through all of her books ~ the Mitford series is one of my absolute favorite collection of books to read!! I have been following Father Tim and Cynthia, Dooley and Lace, and everyone else since they first were published. A lovely gift to the soul... <3
Thank you so much for sharing your visit with us and I'm sorry your photographs didn't come out as well as you would have liked. Her shoes are cute, too! I do always think of Cynthia as an extension of Ms. Karon.
Hugs and blessings to you,
Hi Debbie, Jan Karon sounds a lovely and inspiring person. Some people have that magical ability to make you feel special when they talk to you, don't they? Those shoes are amazing.
The Mitford Series is one of the most heartwarming and touches series of books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. I tell people who haven't read them that there's nothing earth shattering that happens it's just life in a sweet small town...the kind of life that many of us dream about.
It's just awesome that you've had the privilege of meeting Jan Karon!!
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