I have been watching and praying for my fellow Officers and Soldiers who have served and are currently serving on Emergency Disaster Services teams in Texas and Florida.
Some of the devastation is heartbreaking as many families have lost everything. Many organizations have been on site since day 1…including The Salvation Army.
I have to confess something, I would often get upset when other relief organizations would get all of the press time on television networks. I would grow weary of the lack of reporting of all of the good things my fellow Soldiers, Officers and volunteers of The Salvation Army were doing on the ground. It seemed that there were many media hogs seizing every minute of television and radio time but as soon as the cameras were gone…so were they. On behalf of the movement I faithfully serve, I felt gypped.
I expressed this salty opinion to one of my corps members, I was in a cantankerous mood. This corps member is a far wiser person than I will ever be. He had perspective and with calm, sage advice said, “You know, it has never been about how much press time we get…we aren’t there for the applause or public acclaim, we’re there to serve the hurting as best as we can as we rely on the Lord to guide us.” With one fell swoop, he cut me off at the knees – which was a good thing. He brought a great sense of perspective to my heart. There I was, getting so upset in the halls of public opinion while completely forgetting the primary purpose for our ‘Army’ existing in those places of disaster – to faithfully serve others with the love and grace of the Lord – regardless if it was seem through the lenses of some camera.
I was reminded of a passage of scripture, and I don’t use this to get preachy or to sound judgmental, but rather to put some sobering perspective back into my heart and perhaps others who might be struggling with this as well: “….Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others.” (Matthew 6:1,2)
-If we serve because we want to be seen, we have gotten it all wrong…
-If we serve because it brings fame to any organization, we have gotten it all wrong…
-If we serve because it makes us look good, we have gotten it all wrong…
…and we will have already received our reward, if so then God help us!
Instead, may our service, especially those unseen by the world around us, bring glory to God! It should never be about our air time or the many external fund raisers on our behalf – The Lord will provide – be faithful in this! Our consistency in serving Him is paramount to all of these things. We are called to offer compassion, care, love, hope…with all of those things, who has time to worry about anything else?
Please pray for the many hands and feet of God currently serving in Texas and in Florida! Continue to pray for this hurricane season…and the upcoming storms. Don’t forget the Emergency Disaster Service personnel in the Western Territory either! Prayer is not a last resort, but a means to continue to bring the needs of many before the Lord continuously!
Something more to Ponder…To God be the glory!!