The more abundant life
from theDesk of…
by Patricia Swyers, Commissioner –
cccLive a long time as a Salvation Army officer and you have some interesting and wonderful memories that pop up when you least expect them.
Recently, the Territorial Women’s Section and divisional women’s ministries secretaries conducted a seminar with the cadets at Crestmont. While preparing for the keynote, I thought about the importance that the weekly Tuesday night Home League played in the lives of my mother and grandmother. If they needed to be away on any particular Tuesday and miss their beloved Home League meeting, they would often visit another corps’ Home League.
In those days, I only visited Home League when asked to present a program because I held junior legion meetings for the children. In my first two corps as the assistant officer in charge of youth, this was true as well. I enjoyed planning for the young people and having fun with them. At all of these corps the Home Leagues had one thing in common—they were always well attended because the programs were well planned, interesting and enjoyable.
The years passed, and my new husband and I were assigned as corps officers in Dallas. We had a lovely group of people and, as the Home League started growing, the women were a great support in helping with special activities. Our first Easter, we planned a big corps and community Easter egg hunt. It was in the days before plastic eggs, and one of our soldiers told me of a farm that would deliver the large amount of fresh eggs that we needed. The eggs arrived early in the day so that I could boil all of them and have them ready for my Home League to dye that evening. Large boxes of eggs sat on all the counters, and I filled all available pots with water.
I carefully placed dozens and dozens of eggs in each container, cooking them to the right degree for the “hunt.” I finally finished boiling all the eggs and set up the table for the many different colors of dye. The ladies arrived nicely dressed for this evening of fun. Greeting each other with hugs and laughter, we took our places and began the program.
It was now time to decorate these freshly boiled eggs for the big event! It was going well and the women were enjoying their project. Oops! One of the ladies dropped her egg, causing the shell to crack, and it fell full force all over her dress, covering her with bright yellow yolk and egg white—raw egg that evidently missed the boiling water! I didn’t know what her reaction would be, but all of a sudden loud laughter erupted around the table, including the now drenched, egg-covered woman.
Recalling this memory, I pictured the individuals who had gathered around the table to assist the “new Mrs. Lieutenant” with a project that would have consumed much time without their help and would never have been as much fun. They became regular attendees and friends, prayer partners, encouragers, and partners in ministry with our youth groups.
Easter is more than colored eggs, it is more than activities revolving around special events; it is gathering together with a special bond of love that calls us to “be there” for each other. It is remembering the great love that Christ has for us and that He came to bring us life, and to bring it more abundantly. My abundant joys often come through the relationships that I have made along the way with people who have a desire to share God’s love with others, sometimes through activities in a Women’s Ministries group, sometimes in taking the time to spend with youth, sometimes coming alongside a friend with an encouraging word. This Easter, I remember God’s love through the gift of salvation given by His Son, and I thank Him for the gift of friends along the way who have filled my life with abundant blessings.