Holiness in our Midst: Session 125

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Story Circle Prompt: If you knew you might only have a short time to live, what would you do differently now?

First, another question: Where were you on Jan. 2, 2023, when America stopped and dropped to its knees on behalf of a single unresponsive NFL player? I was wandering around my living room, having taken in the Rose Parade earlier (on Monday because they don’t hold it on Sunday), and wondering what football games were on. I turned on Monday Night Football and stumbled on the riveting scene unfolding in a game between the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Bengals. Damron Hamlin, wide receiver for Buffalo, was fighting for his life right in front of our eyes. The next evening Hamlin’s fate was still unknown when CNN anchor Anderson Cooper was interviewing Super Bowl-winning tight end Benjamin Watson on the tenuousness of life. Cooper paused and tossed out the rhetorical question, as an aside to their conversation on the importance of faith: If you knew you might only have a short time to live, what would you do differently now?

The essence of the question is spiritual in nature: Has a “near death” experience changed the course of your life? 

The first thing that Hamlin did, upon awakening, was begin collecting money for the nurses and first responders who saved his life.

For me, recovery from cancer resulted in a renewed vow to live each day more fully, faithfully, and honestly.

How have you responded to a “near death” encounter, real or vicarious?


  1. Read the above reflection. In your journal, answer the following: Have you had a life-altering experience that caused you to make changes? What was the event? What were the changes? 


 1.   Read aloud Session CXXV.

  2.   Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Prompt.

Holiness in Our Midst: Sharing 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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