It’s a beautiful day here on the Gulf Coast and I’m off to my office – the one on the beach! Literally. The one on the beach.
I’m heading out in a few minutes to run at the water’s edge. I’ll be the one jumping over sandcastles and small children and sidestepping fisher folk and the pelicans who hang out by the poles hoping to reap what they did not sow!
After my run, I’ll unpack my sand chair and beach bag and settle down to work on my newest Bible study, “Beautiful.” I’m just in the beginning stages of note taking and outlining a draft for what I hope will be six sessions.
Before I leave for “my office,” I’d like to share a story with you that has helped inspire my writing for, “Beautiful.”
A few nights ago my husband, my dad and I were invited to dinner at Cracker Barrel by some long-time friends of ours who were passing through our area.
As we were leaving the restaurant area into the “store,” I noticed an elderly couple talking to a female server. The husband was doing the talking. His wife, who was gripping a walker, was quiet and expressionless. I overheard the employee say she would stand at the door and hold it open.
I ascertained the lady with the walker needed to use the restroom. I walked over to the couple and asked the gentleman if I could help in some way. His wife responded affirmatively while he looked relieved. She and I slowly made our way to the ladies room and I told her to let me know how she needed me to help her.
I followed her into the handicap stall but not wanting to intrude on her privacy, I asked if she wanted me to stay in the stall with her. She did and I assisted her with her needs.
During the process I learned her name is Ellen* and over a decade ago she and her husband moved to Florida from New York. Also, she ordered the chicken and dumplings. I asked because if you know me you know I’m a bit of a foodie! Plus I guess I was trying to make this “help a stranger in the bathroom thing” seem completely normal and keep Ellen (and myself!) at ease.
Before exiting the ladies room, Ellen paused and asked me if everything was in order. She was wearing a blue checked shirt and belted jeans. I assured her she was all tucked in and looked great! Then we slowly made our way back to her husband. He was smiling so big! They were both very grateful for the help and I felt honored to have had the opportunity.
I’m sharing this story with you because as I’ve been thinking about the “Beautiful” Bible study, I began to ponder this question: Aside from physical attributes, what makes a woman beautiful? Different ideas come to mind and one of those is my experience with Ellen.
I believe what made Ellen “beautiful” to me was her VULNERABILITY and her WILLINGNESS TO RECEIVE help from a stranger to assist her in a very basic need. Without any awkwardness she simply received what she needed. That’s beautiful!
How about you? What do you think makes a woman beautiful?