Recognizing holy moments
by Heidi J. Bailey, Major –
Many significant memories are born in unsuspecting moments—moments when we are possibly feeling more weariness than energy, more stress than peace, and even a bit more resentment than joy!
Because of the incredible number of Christmas-related opportunities involving The Salvation Army, there are times when, if pressed, we, as leaders and soldiers, might admit that day after day, each new prospect begins to feel more like the completion of a requirement than a ministry opportunity, and that even our most high commitment to Christian responsibility begins to dwindle to the level of a common duty, rather than that of a divine privilege.
So I’m grateful for the many times when I have been encouraged by the Lord and by others around me, to push past those moments that only felt like requirement or duty, and to recognize the privilege of experiencing this wealth of ministry opportunities that were translated into mission reality. Calling upon God’s strength and allowing the power of the Holy Spirit into your being to guide you through the challenges—this is supremely re-energizing.
It happened when our Social Service guests were invited to share in a community carol sing one evening, before receiving their food baskets…it was an extra, “un-necessary” effort for our band, our songsters, our soldiers and our employees…they could have received their food baskets from 9 to 4, Monday through Friday. But it was a holy moment when weary, burdened neighbors from our community could rest among friends, sing carols in their own language, and hear the good news of Jesus Christ, before they were accompanied to their cars by a Salvationist carrying their food basket. It was a holy moment that we could have missed!
It happened when a single mother showed up to ring bells, saying she was desperate for a job, but showing she was more desperate for a family. She got both! First it was finding the warmth of a Sunday school class, then the challenge of recruit’s class, then the joy of her enrollment as a senior soldier. Now she’s sure the Lord has called her to officership! It was another holy moment, which could have been mistaken for duty or requirement.
The holy moments we are allowed to experience in our lifetime can almost be obscured by the realities of a fallen world; but they are there, and they await the weariest of us this Christmas! Do you need to be re-energized? Return to the passion of mission––not just completing, but connecting; not just inviting, but including, not just performing duties, but perceiving the Divine.
Words like community, ministry, integration, inclusiveness and mission don’t have to be just words. They can be powerful, life changing moments in someone’s life this season! Maybe that someone includes you!
—Major Heidi J. Bailey currently serves with her husband, Major Brad Bailey, as command leaders of the Spain Command.