Holiness in our Midst: Session 95

Holiness in our Midst


Story Circle Prompt: When did God resolve an issue or make “a way” in the wilderness for you? Remember the circumstances of that miracle…
This question about miracles has origins in a story…

One morning in early April of 2002, I was awakened suddenly in a guest house on the outskirts of Lagos, the largest city in Nigeria. The day before, our traveling group had experienced one of the city’s famous “worst traffic jams in the world.” Yes, I was glad to be alive, but also dead tired when I went to bed that night. I was accompanying then Church of the Brethren Annual Conference Moderator Paul Grout and his wife Dorothy as they bore witness to denominational mission sites. I remember three things about that morning: 1) I woke up to giggling children peeking around the curtains in my open-air windows, a whole neighborhood of them greeting me warmly. Quite a surprise! 2) The shower was very, very makeshift. 3) Most memorable, though, was a plaque on the wall that read, simply: He will make a way where there is no way.

The sign recalled Isaiah 43:18-20:

18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen… (New International Version)

Every day on that trip, we witnessed our way being smoothed through small miracles. Since then, whenever I have encountered seemingly dead end situations, I have asked God to make a way.

To the question of a personal miracle:

As many around me are losing their jobs, I remember back to September of 2009. My position as coordinator of mission connections for the denomination in Elgin, IL had been eliminated in February of that year. Even with the aid of a headhunter, neither local positions nor similar ones with other denominations or agencies were available to me. Other denominational and ecumenical colleagues were in similar circumstances in the Great Recession. My online search for jobs back in Iowa came up empty. (I had expected to stay in Illinois.) That month I had exhausted my financial resources. My weekly Centering Prayer group surrounded me with love, prayers, and song— even providing food and essentials when I did not know where to turn. They kept hope alive and prayed for God’s will, even laying hands on me, as I sought my next place in the world. Together we trusted through tears (theirs and mine) that God would make a way.

My miracle came on the morning of Sept. 10 with an audible insistent voice saying, “Call Martha…now!” Martha Kash and her husband Norb owned a bed-and-breakfast in Colo, IA; I had over-wintered at their place during a previous season of transition. Martha answered immediately when I called. I explained my desperate plight. She said: “Oh, we’re getting ready to go Arizona for the winter. Why don’t you move back to Iowa and house sit till April? That would solve a lot of problems for us!” She said she had to go and get ready for Garden Club that morning. “Just call back this afternoon and let us know when you will be here.” The rest is history.

Caring for their home came with so much that I needed for a clean transition:

A showcase farmstead, a photographer’s dream, with plenty of time to heal and space to entertain.
A sunroom, which they designed after a visit to a Frank Lloyd Wright home, that overlooked perennial gardens in the distance and bird feeders placed mere feet from the windows.
No rent or utility payments for five months.
Phone and internet access.
A garage and access to their car.
Free food: A full refrigerator, freezer, kitchen cupboard, snack drawer and basement pantry (including home-canned jams, jellies, pickles, garden vegetables and fruits).
Free storage space, in their barn and spare rooms.
Access to this fine couple’s neighbors and community connections.
Birthday flowers and frequent calls and notes of encouragement.

Folks from my church community in Illinois moved my belongings to Colo. “We have a “ministry of moving,” they said. Within days of arriving in Colo, I got my previous job back working in a residential care facility with profoundly disabled adults. In short, loving friends helped me leave my old place well. New ones invited me to join their church and re-establish district connections that continue to this day. Through a single phone call, miraculous in its timing, He provided a way where there was no way.


Read the above reflection. In your journal, answer the question: When did you experience a miracle? Describe the events surrounding it.

1. Read aloud Session XCV.
2. Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.


[View Past Sessions Here]

Note: Holiness in Our MidstSharing Our Stories to Encourage and Heal is a monthly on-line feature created by Janis Pyle to facilitate sharing of our personal experiences, thoughts, beliefs, and spiritual practices with one another, especially through stories. Barriers are broken down when we begin to see all persons, even those with whom we disagree ideologically, as sacred and constantly attended to by a loving Creator. Each column is accompanied by a “story circle” prompt and study guides for personal and group reflection. To share your stories, contact Hannah Button-Harrison at communications@nplains.org. Janis Pyle can be reached at janispyle@yahoo.com.

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