Holiness in our Midst: Session 99

Holiness in our Midst


Share about a memorable Christmas toy or game you found under the tree. 

Is there a Christmas present you remember even now? 

Mine was a shiny saucer snow sled made of aluminum or steel, given to me when I was 9. Its debut was on the steep and slippery slopes of the Wakonda Club, a golf course just off Fleur Drive in Des Moines. The park-like grounds of the private club were opened to the public for sledding. I hung on tight to the straps on the sled as I soared down the hill time after time. My rides were made more fun (and risky) because my father spun me like a top before pushing me in a direction that steered me away from danger. 

I did not want to go home after adventurous Saturday afternoons in the snow, those winters when I was a human whirligig!! On each run down the hill, I entered another dimension, like being closer to God! On my sled rides, I experienced my first 360-degree, panoramic view of the world. There was a hushed holiness on those hillsides! Anything seemed possible before I crashed into reality at the bottom, that is, other sledders or (once) a tree. Those slick little rides made me feel like I was flying, something I would not feel again until my early twenties, when I jumped out of an airplane and went into freefall before my parachute opened. 

Even though my Christmas saucer sled disappeared on one of our family’s many moves, its lesson has followed me through the years: there is madcap joy in taking risks and gaining new perspectives. No small gift!



  1. Read the above reflection. Is there a Christmas toy or game that influenced your career choice or jump-started a hobby? Write about the gift in your journal. 


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


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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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