Sense of Humor
According to some of the stories about Miriam Booth, she had a wonderful sense of humor. One example is what happened when some young boys decided to play a prank on Miriam by hiding under the platform and refusing to leave. Miriam's solution? Smoke 'em out! They came out pretty quickly, too -- and once they finished coughing they joined her in a good laugh.
Once she regained her composure, she used the amusing scene as an opportunity to speak to them about the Lord. Her sermon that day was simple and straight forward: she preached on heaven, told the audience that the only thing in this world that could keep us out of heaven was sin, and then explained to them how to get rid of that sin. Several children were saved that day. Isn't that what its all about?
Consecration and Trials
During this time, the Lord began to deal with Miriam in a deeper way. In short, she felt that she was “to be as ready to stay as to go, to be silent as to speak, to endure as to act, to suffer as to serve.” Something happened to her after that commitment, and she was able to triumph over the jealous, vindictive actions of others. This was a considerable victory for her, because many people were jealous of the fact that her grandfather and father were the primary leaders of the Salvation Army. Miriam also struggled a great deal with loneliness – she loved her mother and father very much, but hardly ever saw them, either due to her work or to theirs.
Miriam made an evangelistic trip to Germany, but became ill shortly afterwards. She thought she would recover quickly. The time was drawing near for her to be officially commissioned as a Salvation Army Officer. She would receive her first commission: service in Germany. This was a day she had quite literally been waiting for her entire life.
However, she wasn't recovering from the sickness. She was too ill to even be present for her commissioning. Miriam was heartbroken, but she accepted it as the Lord's will. It would be eighteen long months before her she would get her health back. Not long after she began feeling better, she became ill yet again. This time she was sent to a hospital in Switzerland. After a time there, the doctors decided she was getting worse and she was to be sent back to England.
However, just as final preparations were being made for her to return to England, a terrible storm broke out. It was going to make travel extremely unsafe, but Miriam's condition was so serious that the doctor's were afraid if they didn't move her now they would not be able to move her later.
Here was Miriam, so full of life, so excited to be working for the Lord, and just starting out on her life's dream -- only to fall seriously ill, and watch her hopes fall apart around her. Miriam wasn't even in her twenties yet, and it seemed that she was destined to live the life of an invalid. However, Miriam had made a commitment to God, that whether He wanted her to stay or to go she would obey Him. The test had come, and Miriam chose still to obey Him.
TO BE CONTINUED ...
Sara McCaslin is an engineer, a computer scientist, and a freelance writer.