Holiness in our Midst: Session 127

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Story Circle Prompt: What makes your heart happy?

I happened to find this question, appropriately enough, on a white board in the waiting room of a Des Moines counseling center. The answers that clients wrote were mostly names of pets and close relatives. One person simply wrote “smiles.” 

My current answer would be a newfound source of heart-happiness, that is, choir music! Recently, an event buoyed my spirits for an afternoon and well beyond. I attended the 2023 Spring Choral Concert, a fundraiser for Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance, as a community board member. Our organization offers emergency rent, utility, gas, and food assistance in Story County.

Titled “You Do Not Walk Alone,” the program showcased seven professional community choirs, a combined choir, and one especially assembled (along with an orchestra) to perform the choral masterwork, Requiem, Op. 48, by French composer Gabriel Fauré. On a snowy Sunday afternoon in March, I was not alone in being transported and transformed by heavenly sounds, sweet notes of children and somber tones of the Requiem soloists, that found permanent places in our hearts. What makes your heart happy?


  1. Read the above reflection. In your journal, answer the following: What is the happiest thing that happened to you today? In the past week? In the past month? In the past year? Ever?


1.   Read aloud Session CXXVII.
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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