Lydia, the maker of fine purple cloth in the book of Acts, closely resembles my life after college where I was privileged to sell exquisite, high-end women’s clothing, the purple cloth of our day. Loving it so much, even after moving to a fancy desk job at the corporate office, I worked any weekend shift available at the retail store Mandels. Their clothes were the staple of my business wardrobe. God is molding me to be more like hospitable Lydia as I interface with my husband. Lydia was known as God-fearing, something I hope and pray comes to mind as you know me…something I aspire toward in my daily walk
“On the Sabbath, we left the city and went down along the river where we had heard there was to be a prayer meeting. We took our place with the women who had gathered there and talked with them. One woman, Lydia, was from Thyatira and a dealer in expensive textiles, known to be a God-fearing woman. As she listened with intensity to what was being said, the master gave her a trusting heart and she believed!”
After she was baptized, along with everyone in her household, she said in a surge of hospitality, “If you’re confident that I’m in this with you and believe in the Master truly, come home with me and be my guests. “We hesitated, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer.” (Acts 16:13-15, The Message)
I wrote a study for women leaders on Acts, mostly to share all the incredible insights wise men and women had poured into me while in Chicago, and to freshen and cement the teachings into my brain. Fun note… I would sneak into D.A. Carson’s class whenever I could, and sit with all the scholars. Sticking out like a sore thumb with my faux black fur vest and matching hat…complete with leather gloves trimmed in black fur, who was I kidding? I’d sit in the back row and glean. I could only glean from the words spoken in English…the class required both mastery of written and spoken Greek…ouch, that’s why I had to sneak.
I love dyed cloth like Lydia. Every 6 months I dye my jeans with Rit dye and they are a crisp, cool, blue indigo much like the water at Lake Travis. The jeans have traveled east and west as much as my weight. Just like the girls in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, each girl had a different figure, but the pants miraculously fit each one as the girls shipped the pants around to all the exotic locales the girls visit.
Make do with blue, and dye your jeans to keep them fresh looking. On a note of interest, Thyatira, our new friend Lydia’s hometown, was famous for its purple dye. A handful of kosher salt in the hottest water your machine will give you and dye away. Throw in a worn out white top and girlfriends, you’ve got a new look for the weekend…extra slimming when you where the same shade top and bottom.
We learn so much from the prayerful women sitting riverside on the seventh day…2000 years later.
Rest in Him, Trish