Women in Ministry: They Have Always Stood for Inspection

As sort of a follow up to our earlier posting on this subject, we relate the story of a military chaplain who has served with distinction in Afghanistan and Iraq. His wife felt the call to the chaplaincy, so she, with four children, enrolled in seminary and began preparations to be the first husband and wife military chaplaincy team in the denomination. (Seminary education is a requirement for military chaplains; this is not always the case with civilian agencies and organisations.)

One thing I have found with military people is that they sometimes go “over the top” (a good World War I term) in adapting themselves to the military lifestyle, to the point where it’s hard to know when on duty stops and off duty starts. This is a condition that Navy people are especially vulnerable to, but one finds it in every branch of service.

At a return reception for her husband, I asked her half in jest whether the children, with both parents in uniform, would have to stand for inspection.

Her response: “The children have always stood for inspection.”

With such a situation at home, those under her pastoral care who are running from God won’t stand a chance.

After Jesus had entered Capernaum, a Captain in the Roman army came up to him, entreating his help. “Sir,” he said, “my manservant is lying ill at my house with a stroke of paralysis, and is suffering terribly.” “I will come and cure him,” answered Jesus. “Sir,” the Captain went on, “I am unworthy to receive you under my roof; but only speak, and my manservant will be cured. For I myself am a man under the orders of others, with soldiers under me; and, if I say to one of them ‘Go,’ he goes, and to another ‘Come,’ he comes, and to my slave ‘Do this,’ he does it.” Jesus was surprised to hear this, and said to those who were following him: “Never I tell you, in any Israelite have I met with such faith as this! (Matthew 8:5-10, Positive Infinity New Testament)

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