Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Purple Goods

And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.Act 16:13-15

We went to a farmer's market this weekend and were disappointed. Everything was overpriced and very limited in scope. I have learned over the years that knowing good places to shop, where the items are good and sold for a reasonable price is a real honored gift. People who are in the know are consulted regularly and are considered a real insider. New Yorkers are particularly fussy about shopping - getting high quality for a low price. I have been looking for and avoiding looking for a dress for our daughter's wedding. All of the mother of the bride dresses that I have seen are quite ugly and considerably overpriced. I am not slim nor am I easy to fit. Top that off with an abhorrent selection, and we are in real trouble. Fortunately for me, I am in a place where there are some real insiders, people who know the score and can direct me to the right place.

Lydia was a real insider, a merchant with a flourishing business, who wasn't easily fooled, nor easily sold. She was a treasured member of the community for she knew real value and genuine people. And Paul and company meet with her and her friends, and Lydia had a n open heart and a sharp mind, and God used both of them, heart and mind, to bring love and good news to an entire family and community.

Today, I want to use the gifts I have, all of them, to witness to God's love in my life. Heart, mind, voice and soul - all of it God uses. I pray that we can all offer what we have for the transformation of the world. Today.

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