Holiness in our midst – Session 24

Holiness in our Midst


When I am world weary, I “get away” by revisiting a morning in February of 2004 in Vietnam. I time travel back to the morning when I got up at 4 a.m. at a guest house along the Mekong River in the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam. Our party boarded a boat and glided in the dark for an hour. Then the sun rose on one of the most spectacular sights on Earth: a floating market. Boats of all shapes and sizes carried vendors who were making transactions with buyers and each other. Colorful displays of seafood, meats, fruits, vegetables, flowers and plants glistened in the first light. Sounds of splashing water, the vendors shouting out and the boats honking and bumping against each other made sweet melody. The smells of succulent foods frying along the shorelines, fresh-baked bread and citrus fruits mingled with those of the river. For several hours, we watched the large displays of wares dwindle and the boats sail away in all directions.

Then our crew asked us if we liked surprises and we agreed that we were game. In a half hour, we docked and were welcomed to a lovely retreat center for late morning tea. There we were in paradise: coconut palms and banana trees, monkeys and parrots and lush foliage. A swing hung from one of the trees. In a clearing, we were seated under a gazebo with a view of a pond with lily pads; the shade was welcome on the hot day. We were presented with a rich array of steaming hot exotic teas, sweet breads and bananas, strawberries and mangoes. We conversed quietly and deeply, language barriers and cultural differences falling away. There was forgiveness in the air for the time when our nations were at war. Our cares were forgotten for the hour. The memory of that morning is healing, even now, whenever I need a fresh start.



In you could travel anywhere—past, present or future—where would you go in place and time? Why?



  1. Read the above reflection aloud.
  2. Write a journal reflection about you and time travel. Where would you travel to in the past? Why? Present? Why? A future place and time? Why?



  1. Read aloud Session XXIV.
  2. Ask each person to answer the Story Circle Question.