I brought this post to the top of my site because I mentioned it in my message Sunday morning. Be sure you follow the link at the end of my essay.
Do you know who Janice Meredith Wilson is? You should. Let me get on my soapbox here for a minute and then I will introduce her to you.
The guest list for lecturers at the National Cathedral in Washington D. C. is heavily weighted toward an odd amalgam of men and women, writers and preachers, educators and media persons who almost always speak with robust confidence about questionable things. The same people treat with detached skepticism the simple, straightforward claims of the Bible. In other words, the people who speak at the National Cathedral are often sure of things that Christians have historically been doubtful about and doubtful about things that have historically defined Christianity.
I know I’m speaking in direct tones here, but I would not recommend that you surf onto their site and start watching lectures unless you have a strong stomach and a stalwart faith. None of us have enough time on our hands to watch people talk on and on about what they DON’T believe, no matter how sophisticated, popular, elite, educated, or well-spoken they are.
But there have been a few exceptions. On December 6, 2005 the powers that be at the National Cathedral invited Janice Meredith Wilson to lecture. From what I can tell it was one of their best decisions in recent years. I watched the lecture on my computer.
Janice Meredith Wilson is the name of the author who is known by the pseudonym, Jan Karon. She is the author of the Mitford series of novels about an Episcopal pastor from a delightful fictitious village in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains called Mitford, North Carolina. There are nine books in all. They tell a warm story about a community of people and a pastor, his wife, his dog, and her cat. The books are entertaining and insightful, they are descriptive and delightful. Her depictions of people make you laugh and cry. Her descriptions of food make your mouth water. Her insights on the things of God make you want to pray and serve and love and give. Though fiction they are accurate and tasteful in their treatments of human nature and Janice is able to accomplish all this without resorting to profanity, offensive violence, or sexual innuendo.
She did in her address at the National Cathedral what she did in her books. She told her story in a compelling and clear way weaving into the story spiritual insights and biblical truths. It is an art and she is a skilled artist. She told how she came to the place where she knew her life was empty and she called on the Lord Jesus to forgive her sins and take over her life. She so tastefully and boldly proclaimed Christ and the gospel that I literally jumped to my feet and cheered her on.
We may not be asked to speak at the National Cathedral, but we all have our pulpit, our lectern, our microphone, our street corner, our place at the table in the coffee shop. We all have our moment on the stage. We all have our circle of influence. When the time comes-follow Jan Karon’s example. When you have a brief moment in the lights don’t forget who your God is. Don’t forget who your creator is. Don’t forget the One who is your hope and your salvation. Don’t forget the One who is your life. Don’t forget the One in whom we live and move and have our being. With a winsome spirit, with the bold confidence of someone who is handing out one hundred dollar bills, with graceful poise, stand up and make Christ known.
He is the way, the truth, and the life and when you proclaim his name it will have the ring of truth in the hearts of those whom God is calling to himself. He is at work in the hearts of people, do your part and make Him known.
January 16, 2007
Very Good!! I like this article I should read more of her books 🙂 I am always happy when someone fiathfully proclaims the Name of the Lord not just when things are bad but when, like you said, you have a spotlight that’s when the real test is I think sometimes….
Thank you for the link. I enjoyed listening to her and appreciated her testimony. She’s an author I really enjoy reading as well.
I’m thinking you might want get a link to Kyle’s site…..I found it for the first time the other day and thought it was pretty awesome.
I checked out At Home in Mitford from the local library, and have started reading it. Excellent. I hope to listen to the lecture online soon.
Many thanks for the lovely piece on Janice Meredith (my full Christian or “given” name) Wilson (my maiden surname). It was brought to my attention by a friend. I agree with you enthusiastically, that we can all have our National Cathedral moment at the lunch table, in the grocery store, wherever we may be–there are tens of thousands of opportunities, all the time, to speak of the One Who gave us life, and life again. One must be easy in oneself to do this, as I think it must be done with great confidence and a sweet spirit, and, especially, good humor. Everywhere I go, I find people starving to hear about His love, mercy and grace, including the most secular and “sophisticated.”
Blog on, good brother.
As you can imagine, I am thrilled to have Jan Karon’s comment here on my humble blog. If you see me today you will notice there is a special spring in my step. Thank you, Jan for taking time to visit my little outpost in blogdom…. 🙂
Wow! How cool is that?
Pastor Martin Ross
Dear Brother Ken,
I just finished reading the last of the Mitford books and I thought last night that I should go to your archives and listen again to Jan Karon’s talk at the National Cathedral. Imagine my surprise when I checked your site today and found this! Thought it was great that Jan sent you the comments. You are really being blessed ‘buddyroe’.
Good insight into this dear lady’s courage and conviction to speak of Christ in the world’s showcase auditorium. How gratifying to have her respond with understanding. Pardon me for ignorance of this thing. I’m just getting acquainted with the medium, or whatever you call it. Love -Dad
Mrs. Tim Hall
Neat-o! I love the Mitford books. I always read them when I am in need of something to make me smile… that and the Anne books. :o)
I’m a recent newcomer to the Mitford series Audio books, as I have been making tracks between MI and NC. I’ve really enjoyed them. Jan Karon’s post doesn’t surprise me a bit. I’ve always thought your writing and speaking as a unfound treasure.
Barbara Good Turner
Janice, I am an old friend of Barry & Randys, I would to talk to them and see them again, My father was Roy Good. We thhink of Barry often. If you could givr him a message and my e-mail address please. The last time I saw him was at my brothers funeral. I didn’t have a chance to talk with him. If you could give him this message please My e-mail is [email protected] Thank You and God Bless you.
I plan to hear and see you in Bristol,TN. on April 23,2012 and to purchase a book that I don’t have.I am excited to see you then,as we are kin through the Bush family in Lenoir.I go there alot and to the reunions.Your grandmother’s father was a brother to my great=grand mother Sarah Bush.love a cousin,
Help, My wife of 50 yrs+ (now passed) introduced me to Ms. Karon’s books some 15-20 yrs.ago. Addicted ever since. I had a few years hiatus while I was busy tending my wife during her bout with Alzheimers, but have returned to the (Karon) fold. I would have loved to have heard her presentation at the Cathedral, but missed it. Your link (above) has not survived the passage of time, or at 78yrs. my computer skills have deserted me. If you still monitor this site, and know of any way that I might be able to retrieve the lecture of Jan on 12/6/05 I would be indebted to you. Whether yea or nay, I do pray that our Lord will grant you the ability to continue to spread His Word. God Bless.