From the desk of… ‘Transformation’
By Sharron Hudson Lt. Colonel
As Salvationist servants we are able to witness the transformation process of those we serve. We rejoice when we see one who had once lived in a gutter be transformed through Christ, to now stand before us in uniform, boldly witnessing to a life-changing experience. Also marvelous is seeing a young person who has grown up in the ranks of The Salvation Army, certain of the cleansing power of the Holy Spirit, rejecting the “ways of the world.”
The caterpillar often symbolizes the miracle of transformation: this tiny creature fashions, by God’s design, a cocoon within which it metamorphoses into the beautiful butterfly—free of the shackles that kept it bound.
In this past year I have gone through somewhat of a “transformation” myself—both physically and spiritually. As you may observe from my recent photos, I’ve changed a little! I’ve had to get used to people greeting me with shocked expressions on their faces and words like: “Wow! I didn’t recognize you!,” “You look so different” and of course my favorite, “you look so much younger!” At first I was a bit embarrassed by all the attention and frankly puzzled by it, asking myself, “Well, what did I look like before?” But lately I’ve just been enjoying the looks on faces and the kind words expressed.
With this in mind, I began to wonder what folks in Jesus’ day thought and said about the people transformed by his healing touch. Did they say to Mary Magdalene, “You look so different,” following her release from seven demons? And when the man cured of leprosy was restored to his family, were shocked looks on people’s faces as they gazed upon his transformation? These people were made new!
And what about you? Do others see a life transformed by the “renewing of your mind” and the power of Christ’s love? When people look at you, do they know that something is “different” about you—and want to make a change in their own life, too? Paul, in Romans 12, writes about transformation that sets us apart. The Message expresses it like this:
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you (Rom. 12:1, 2).