When I was a student (too many years ago now!), I used to work in London during the vacations, and travel up to Coventry on Sunday mornings to lead the Songsters. Because the first train used to get into Coventry with just enough time for me to make it to the meeting, I used to travel in full uniform. I lost count of the number of people who would approach me on the platform and ask me where the next train to their destination was going from, or other such enquiries. It used to frustrate me! I couldn’t understand why the words THE SALVATION ARMY on my cap didn’t distinguish me enough from train station staff!
It was only when I became a corps officer that I realised that people probably approached me because they trusted someone in Salvation Army uniform. Now I am in Salvation Army uniform more often, I am approached for help by more people, because they trust me. Wearing Salvation Army uniform can be dangerous! But that’s why we wear it. It signifies that we belong to Jesus. It tells people they can expect us to be loving, joyful, peacemaking, patient, kind, good and gentle, just like he is. It tells others that we are visibly on the side of the poor, the infirm, the immigrant, the stranger, the unloved, and the lost.
Salvation Army Uniform Makes the Invisible Visible
Some Salvationists mistakenly believe we wear uniform to all look the same. Some believe uniform has to take a particular form in order to be effective. What is more important, in my view, isn’t what form uniform takes, it is what it signifies. And as a Salvation Army leader, I will do all I can to encourage Salvationists to wear uniform because I don’t want The Salvation Army to become invisible. Salvation Army uniform makes the invisible visible. We are called to be visible followers of Jesus. We are called to visibly stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.
Is it time to brush off your Salvation Army uniform?
So, if you’re a uniformed Salvationist, wear your uniform. Make yourself visible. Salvation Army uniform makes the invisible visible. If you haven’t worn it for a while, give it a good brush first! But make yourself visible. If you’re not a uniformed Salvationist, why not? What’s stopping you? If you want to become a soldier, then I know Eileen would be delighted to take you through soldiership classes. And even if you don’t wear uniform, you can still make yourself visible. Salvationist Publishing and Supplies have plenty of clothing showing The Salvation Army brand, and even badges, bags, hats and more that can make your “normal” clothing more visible!
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