A day in the life of ... Rosy Keane
A day in the life of ... Rosy Keane
8 May 2022
Others Magazine spoke to New Zealander Aux-Lieutenant Rosy Keane, the Australia Territory Secretary for Spiritual Life Development, to find out what a typical day involved for her.
Rosy, can you give us an overview of your job?
My role is to support Commissioners Janine and Robert [Donaldson] in the spiritual life direction, depth and development of The Salvation Army Australia.
What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at work (even if that’s at home!)?
Pray. I am relatively young to be in a role serving with Executive (33! Same age as Jesus) and being a new transplant to Australia in January, I’m learning a huge amount in a small amount of time. The sheer scope of Australian Salvos operations, Australia’s landmass and the shape and scope of the spiritual needs of our territory is huge. But I don’t serve alone – I serve with Jesus, inspired, directed and led by the Holy Spirit, and I am among the ranks of an incredible team and mission Australia-wide. But to start from a posture of humility, supplication (fancy word for ‘God, please supply my needs’) and strength in God is so important to me. Otherwise, I can feel a bit like a martyr when you see the needs and your morning inbox! It helps me feel confident and grateful as I hear from God, and we start the day in step and in sync.
What can a typical day involve for you?
My days are so different – facilitating spoken-word workshops with the Territorial Candidates board, or responding to the call to preach and pray with young people at a camp, or partnering and collaborating across mission departments to see what resources or support I can bring to their spiritual life and development. Emails, emails and more prayer. Meetings, meetings and more prayer. It’s wonderful. If I am at home, my puppy Junia will be creating havoc, and my husband Scott will be somewhere around, reminding me wherever we live, home is together.
What’s the most challenging part of your work?
I had to make peace a long time ago because I operate a little differently from most people around me. As a spoken-word artist and teacher, I once was confronted with how picturesque, and clear a fellow spoken-word artist’s poetry was – you could basically touch the picture he painted, whereas my poetry (and work life) seems so chaotic or interpretive in response. My husband Scott said this is part of the prophetic in me – presenting a Spirit-led Rorshack, where people see Christ as they need to within me. The challenging part is streamlining what I do so I can most effectively work with and for the mission of others – joining Jesus where Jesus is, not getting overwhelmed and gathering all the info I need to patiently build a portfolio of where God needs me to serve with my time and talents in this great nation and movement.
What’s the most rewarding part of your work?
To hear how God has spoken to people through something I have vulnerably brought to pass, and them feeling that they now have a stronger bond with God where they can go in, be empowered and strengthened and strengthen others in return. I read once, ‘Never set yourself up as a spiritual guru’, as in – point others to Jesus, disciple them yes, but point them to Jesus because there is no intermediary between us and Jesus. We come and urge others to come as we are, as Jesus intercedes before God on our behalf. The vulnerable part – I try and remain open and humble to the Spirit, and when it costs me greatly (I hate being exposed or at risk of looking silly! But that’s the way of the kingdom and prophets!), it is so affirming to see that God shows up in the spaces that we leave open for him, by refusing to guard ourselves to ‘save face’.
How has COVID-19 affected how you work?
Coming into Australia and the aftermath of lockdowns here – which hit various parts of Australia much harder than New Zealand – has been a learning curve. Listening and responding to people’s sense of uncertainty about planning concrete future events, isolation and PTSD-type symptoms and frustration with structures or decisions are all tensions under the surface. It reminds me of getting a cramp after running – that this build-up of lactic acid will cramp our [Church] Body from time to time, and we need to do some deep massage work to relieve it. Working from home is an upside for Scott and me, especially having a new puppy!
What drives/motivates you to get up each day and go to work?
Jesus, and my absolute desire to be obedient in everything I do to the Lord who loves me and gave himself for me. I wish I could effectively communicate how much the love of God drives me, refines me and motivates me to try and live and die each day in a way that brings him honour. That’s my best articulation of it. Out of that flows love for others, and myself, and the [Church] Body together working in harmony.
How do you see your work achieving the mission of The Salvation Army to transform lives?
I see my work as underlining or circling in certain parts of the story and narrative that Salvos have already been writing, both in the last few years and in the last few decades and centuries as a movement. All Salvos work and live and breathe the air that came before us in terms of inspiration, challenge, leadership, cultural influence and hope for the future – and we’re informed further back than Catherine and William by the Word of God and the Bible itself. I long to merely join where people are worshipping, or are stuck, or are praying, or are looking for Christ – to bring in the unique Holy Spirit work of spoken word, spiritual life development and hopeful formation we have together as a people. I believe that my prophetic work in season amplifies and harmonises with where God and his people are already at work in the deep labour of salvation, transformation and hope. This – making the world look more like the kingdom of heaven as we lift our eyes to God and seek supernatural revelation of ourselves, one another, and Christ is the work of the Salvos as we serve. Our community expands daily and deepens minute by minute, and I am proud to – and love to – join you in it.