Being the daughter of active leaders of the Salvation Army in its early days was no doubt far different from the life of her peers. Little Miriam was born into the Salvation Army – in fact, her baby clothes were complete with an embroidered red “S” on each side of the collar representing the insignia of the Army.
She grew up involved in prayer meetings, church services, parades, and helping the poor. Her mother would often lay her nearby as she prayed for someone who responded to the altar call at a meeting, keeping her hand securely on the baby.
She and her siblings inherited a special trait from their grandmother, Catherine Booth: a genuine love for animals. This manifested itself one day when the kids saw a weary old horse struggling to carry a large load of turnips that was simply to heavy for it. Its owner lacked compassion, and repeatedly whipped the old horse even though it did not good. When she was their age, their grandmother encountered a similar situation and went after the man with the same whip he was using on the horse. Her grandkids, however, were not quite as extreme and instead helped the horse deliver its load.
The children were encouraged to romp, play, and imagine to their hearts content. It seems that Miriam's favorite game was to preach to her dolls. She followed her sermon by an altar call, to which her dolls would respond. She would then kneel with them and pray for them.
To be continued!
Sara McCaslin is an engineer, a computer scientist, and a freelance writer.