The Satchel - Salvation Army Canada
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    The Satchel

    Retrospective #20 September 29, 2017 Randy C. Hicks
    It's in the bag!
    It's in the bag!

    Ok, I’ll admit it. I was a nerd growing up. I hear you; I hear you, yes, in many ways I still am. A piece of evidence that stands out in my mind which confirms this was my early acquisition of a briefcase; a Samsonite briefcase no less. Now you have to know that I was always a "book bag” kind of guy. I wore out maybe three of the backpack-style, brown leather, top flap, one clasp with thin belt-like straps bags by the time I reached sixth grade. It was then I requested a “briefcase.”

    Did others in my class have briefcases? No.

    Did anyone else in the entire school (teachers excepted) have briefcases? No.

    Did I start a new fashion trend and get copied by students all over town? No.

    Had my siblings or other family members been known for having briefcases? No

    Did I get mocked, laughed at, pushed, and become the butt of some not so friendly jokes? Yes.

    Did I get rid of the brief case? Yes, about three years ago - but only because I had backed the car over it a couple of times and it no longer closed properly! (Good advertisement for Samsonite!)

    Actually (I think I mentioned this in an earlier post) my saintly grandmother (former Home League Treasurer, former Young-Peoples-Sargent-Major) owned and regularly used a “satchel.”
    It was one of those black, leather, Sunday-go-to-meeting satchels. (Similar to today’s Bible Cover/Wallet, not really) It measured twelve inches by nine inches and opened up about one and one half inches. As a matter of fact, as I think about it, a number of elder-type senior soldiers carried them - both men and women. It appeared to me that the contents of each was much the same – Bible (KJV), SA Song Book, Tissues or Handkerchief, Cartridge Envelope, several coins (usually quarters), Sen-Sen breath candy and/or a peppermint knob or two!

    I’m not sure it was common practice in all corps but at my home these elders often sat on the platform, front row, men on the congregation’s left (the Band side) and ladies on the right (the Songster side) especially during the Sunday night Great Salvation Meeting! Oh, and they always knelt at their chairs for prayer – before the meeting, during the meeting and in the after service/prayer meeting at the end of the worship! One more thing, if members of the general congregation were slow getting up to share a testimony or prayer one of them would pop up and give theirs – more than once if needed! One more one more thing – (this is like the last chorus of a testimony period) they sometimes went fishing during the response-to-the-sermon-time and you could trust them to support and/or pray with anyone who knelt at the Mercy Seat! Fire a volley! Amen!

    It just so happens that we have several of these satchels tucked away for safe keeping right here in the archives! Maybe we should reissue/redistribute them or get the Trade to find some new ones that come with the above paragraph in a note entitled “Satchel users are expected to do the following!”

    Then again, you and I both know it’s not the satchel that caused the dear souls to act in the manner they did. No, it was their understanding of a Christian’s/Soldier’s mission and example and their willingness to add action to their faith. Didn't that used to be a Salvation Army thing? Wait, isn't that still a Salvation Army thing?

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