In March, The Salvation Army recognized the one-year anniversary of the World Health Organization’s declaration of a global pandemic by joining together for a territorial day of prayer. Major Colin Bain, assistant executive director, Toronto Housing and Homeless Supports, shared the following poem he wrote to acknowledge the contributions of Salvation Army personnel who serve on the front lines to share the love of Jesus.

Front-line Worker

I am a front-line worker

Who am I?

I am the first face of The Salvation Army

I see the eyes of those who won’t look at mine

I hear the words of need

I smell the dirt and grime

I touch the heart of those who fear

I face the face whose need is dear


I am the front-line worker

I live in places large and small

Far flung and near to you all

From coast to coast to coast

And sometimes further still

The mission is as close as my hand

And as far as the darkest heart

With heart to God and hand to man

I am the front-line worker


I work on streets

I gather food and give it, too

I help the homeless find a place

I listen in, with Jesus’ grace

I help to heal in hospitals, too

I am the front-line worker

From Buchans to Iqaluit and Windsor in Ontario

From Gitwinksihlkw to Toronto and Warwick in Bermuda

I speak French in Saint Jerome, and other places, too


From Meadow Lake and Winnipeg to Estevan and Moncton

In Whitehorse and in Edmonton, you’ll find me there as well

I’m everywhere the need is met

I am the front-line worker


I make the beds where people sleep

The floors I clean, the meals I prepare

The tears and noses wipe and confidences keep

I hear the same words over, as if for the first time

And help the harried find some sleep

I am the front-line worker


For those with addiction, I point the way

With families with concerns, I will pray

For seniors who need company or a roof

For children who need protection

I am there

I am the front-line worker

For those who need a shoulder to lean on

In their home or hospice

In prison finding freedom

Seeking something more

Than life’s worthless spice

For those who need a friend

To guide them to the end

I am the front-line worker


For diverse tasks

Like hampers or tax

From times like Christmas

And all through the year

For daily thrift within our stores

Finding jobs or simply at home

Any time, anywhere

Anybody everywhere

Who am I?

I am a front-line worker

I am the first face of The Salvation Army

And I’ll face life with you


On Wednesday, May 19, 2021, Moges Yalew said:

This is just a beautiful artistic description of what a frontline workers mean and it is also very inspiring to others who wanted to work in the social services sector and help the underprivileged community members of our society. Thank you for sharing Major Colin Bain.


On Wednesday, May 12, 2021, Christine LeBlanc said:

What a wonderful poem! Thank you for sharing it. Our frontline are so, so important. Keeping them all in heartfelt prayer in these challenging days.


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