by Major Valerie Carr
It’s been 15 years since I signed my Officer’s Covenant. That’s roughly 5,627 days. I’ve racked my brain for an inspiring story, quirky adventure or grand gesture of God’s goodness to share. There have been all those things, but there have been far more moments of God’s goodness in small things.
I’ve had the joy of watching corps local leaders flourish as they participate in the Kingdom of God. Everywhere I have served as an officer there have been people who dedicate their time and energy to serving God through The Salvation Army. My officership has been changed by the powerful witness of soldiers.
I have seen the impact of holiness-infused daily responsibilities. I havehad the chance to pray with people at an altar and on a sidewalk. I have been given opportunities to plan events with the aim of honoring God by inspiring and empowering people in their ministries. I know Kingdom work can even be found in how I approach the minutiae of emails, reports and meetings.
I have seen our mission as both practical and strategic. I’ve fed a woman on the street trapped in human trafficking, and I’ve sat at tables with our mission partners to discuss ways to break the chains that bind her. I have helped a family who is struggling to make ends meet, and I’ve been a part of conversations about confronting systemic issues that keep people ensnared in poverty. I’ve felt joy as a pastor coming alongside individuals seeking guidance, and I’ve walked with corps leadership groups as they’ve fleshed out strategies to minister to their community.
I am continually reminded this is God’s mission, and I’m just along for the ride. My journey as an officer has not been exactly as I envisioned the June Sunday afternoon I received my first appointment. I wanted to be part of God’s salvation mission; I just didn’t realize I would learn a second language, get married, have children, spend time overseas or have such varied appointments during those 5,627 days. But as an officer, I have seen time and again God’s Kingdom breaking through in all kinds of ways and I’m humbled by the opportunity to join in.