This past week we attended Commissioning for the Central Territory USA. I have attended for years…and it’s true, you can tell that you’re getting old(er) when you compare every Commissioning to the Star Plaza. But we were in Milwaukee, and I have to be honest with you, I used to dread the Sunday morning service, because to me it was SO boring!! When I was younger, I viewed this meeting as overly somber and definitely snooze worthy.
I entered the service with that predetermined mindset but something ineffable happened – the Holy Spirit had to deal with my heart. That still small voice whispered into my heart and mind – “listen and pay attention”…and so I did. The ordination of Salvation Army Officers is, in my opinion quite traditional and has at times been more pomp than circumstance…but this time it was different. I listened. Isn’t it funny what happens when you obey the Spirit of God?
As each individual officer received their ordination, silent witnesses were asked to stand and, as the name suggests, they were called to bear witness to those receiving their Pastorship. Many stood to bear witness as each new officer’s name was called. Around the auditorium, like hope springing up from the heart, individuals who had prayed for, supported financially, consoled with words of encouragement during difficult days, all stood in recognition of their friend, companion, mentee, fellow soldier of Christ. They stood to boldly declare that the person receiving their ordination was not alone on the battlefield, nor would they ever be alone.
Something struck me in that moment.
We all need Silent Witnesses to bear witness of our faith journey. More than bear witness, we need people who have our backs – peers who bath us in prayer, give us a word or scripture of encouragement, prophesy to our hearts during the dark times, and lift our heads to see the resurrected Christ when sometimes we can only see the death on the cross and the effects of sin in our world. Silent (and sometimes not so silent) witnesses are vital to our continuance of this faith journey. We travel along, sometimes side by side, sometimes single-file, other times from a distance as our calling takes us to the four corners of the world.
So let me ask you: Who are your Silent Witnesses?
Who can you call up and ask for prayer, or encouragement, or even financial help? When we have had silent witnesses, we too are compelled to share that experience with others who are just beginning and there by we become the Silent witness to someone else.
Something more to Ponder today.