In the meantime…
BY GORDON BINGHAM –
Here we are in that period of the Salvation Army calendar that finds us between commissioning weekend, with its round of farewells, and the welcome meetings and new beginnings that will soon follow. We feel it especially keenly this year at THQ, having just said goodbye to seven officers, including our territorial leadership team of the Edwards and Needhams.
What shall we call this period? Perhaps simply an “interim,” an intervening time; or maybe, more grandly, it is an “interregnum,” the period between the end of one monarch’s reign and the assumption of leadership by a successor. Maybe it’s an interval, a space of time between acts; or an uncomfortable hiatus, a gap, a breach of continuity. Is it the lull before the storm? Or the darkness before the dawn? A breather? A respite? A time to let down, or a time to gear up?
It seems a time of uncertainty. The last words of farewell have scarcely been said before the mind begins turning towards what lies ahead. Who are these new leaders? What are they like? What agenda will they bring? Will things be different? Will things remain the same?
While we consider these things, the work of the territory moves along:
In Colorado and Arizona Army disaster personnel are serving those impacted by the worst forest fires in many years.
Today, the Torrance Family Service Office will see another eighty or more families needing food, clothing and other basics in their daily struggle to get by.
Across the city the corps is gearing up to launch the Summer Day Camp program that will provide care and wholesome summer activity to thirty-five or so children every day.
The staff of Camp Gilmore is assembling, completing orientation and getting ready for swarms of kids who will have their first taste of life outside the urban streets.
Today another eight to ten drug and alcohol addicted men and women will find their way to the Harbor Light Center detox program where sobriety and redemption beckon again.
A corps officer plans the meeting outline for Sunday, to which God’s providence will draw those who need to experience his presence in worship and those who may encounter him for the very first time.
Does the changing of leadership really make any difference? Yes, it does. The work must be sustained, re-energized, sometimes re-directed. The “interim” that momentarily diverts our attentions, is really just another rhythm of the kingdom; change, another task to be accomplished.
There really is no gap, scarcely even a pause. Take a deep breath–and move on! Our leaders, former and new, are counting on it.