Holiness in our Midst: Session 102

Holiness in our Midst


Where have you figuratively left your footprint(s), that is, made your mark on the world?

Last month we explored leaving footprints and the stories along the way. (Story Circle Prompt: Where have you literally left footprints? A story or two from your travels?) For the personal/journal reflection, I advanced the following exercise: “On a map of the United States or world, first mark with an x all the places you have lived. Then draw footprints between those places, connecting them in chronological order. Then draw dotted lines from each of the places you have lived to the places where you visited or vacationed. Reflect about the exercise in your journal: Where were the turning points in your life? Who influenced those changes? What continuities do you see in your life journey? What changes would you like to make?”

First, I drew my map and answered the questions toward naming what I have already done. I saw that I come alive when I am sharing stories, taking photos, interpreting mission work, planning community events, furthering hunger and homelessness causes and giving direct care in residential settings. Now this overall life review has proved helpful in discerning a direction for the final phase of my life. Where can I build on these interests? Should I commit to further schooling? What activities complete what I have begun?

Even as I have been actively engaged in life-planning, I have become deeply aware that, ultimately, my influence will be determined by others. This week a conversation reminded me that, consciously or not, I was already leaving a spiritual legacy every day. I was at work in the kitchen of the assisted living center where I work. I told a young co-worker that I read in the paper that one of our residents who had been in hospice had passed away. She teared up and we agreed that this person was very dear to us. Then, she turned to me suddenly and said, “Don’t die! Please don’t die! I don’t think I could handle it!” I assured her that, though I would pass away sometime, I wasn’t planning on it anytime soon. I realized that all of us are leaving our mark every day, wherever we are. Others count on us, sometimes more than we are aware. 

On that day, a quote attributed to Maya Angelou, came to mind (and remains as I do planning): “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” 



  1. Read the above reflection. How have you made your mark on your daily rounds? Try living a whole day being conscious of how you make others feel. Is there a difference in how you treat those you would choose to have along your path and those you wouldn’t? Write about your experiences. 


  1.   Read aloud Session CII.
  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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