Dealer in Purple Cloth
I’ve met a successful business woman who inspires me.
She’s a family woman. She is a great hostess. She knows her business inside and out. Her name in the Greek means “from the region of Lydia” which was in Asia-Minor during Biblical times. Lydia and a few bloggers like her are my new heroines.
13 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God.
I have always loved this verse in the Bible. I imagine that the women were at the river to fill their water pots or wash their clothes. But, there is also a business woman there and according to Bible Gateway, the water she was using had a distinguished dying capability. No other water in the region produced the scarlet or purple color that sold so well in the city. Lydia knew this.
We are not told specifically what products she sold, but Gateway hints at a fez.
I’ve discovered that these were worn by kings in Biblical days and King Jehoshaphat would have been one to possibly wear a fez. Although he was before her time, I imagine she could have sold them to some of his descendants. So this woman was not only a worshiper, but was blessed with the good fortune to sell to royalty or men of prominence. I imagine some of her praise and worship time included gratitude for the success of her business. I love the fact that she knew where to get the best water to dye her cloth. She chose quality.
We also learn that she had the gift of hospitality by inviting Paul and Silas to stay in her home. I imagine her to be gracious, nurturing, intelligent and a beautifully dressed hostess. As a Christian woman, I’ve always heard the comparison of Mary and Martha as two different types of hostesses, but I am fond of Lydia as well. Mary wanted to sit at Jesus’ feet and soak up every word He spoke while Martha was more about the business of the household; asking Jesus to send Mary to help her with all the preparations.
I wonder if Lydia is an example to us as the combination of the two. She was a worshiper. She was a hostess. She managed her home and her business. We are told that she and “her entire household” were baptized as believers in Jesus, so we can assume she was married with children.
What an inspiration! I cannot put it into words. After publishing my post, Growing Pains, I’ve received the most endearing, encouraging comments from other bloggers and readers. Women who deal in purple. Women who know where the best water is! Women who are true worshipers and women who show true hospitality even through a blog. Women who choose quality.
Then, I stumbled upon the post from Mauricio that I renamed Passwords with Power and decided that I will go forward with powerful “passwords” that show gratitude for my blog and can possibly encourage other Lydia’s. I will embrace the gifts and talents that are God-given, love and nurture my family and “pass on words” of encouragement just like these women have passed to me.
While seeking a place to pray, the disciples found a group of women. While seeking a place to relax in my own endeavors, I found a group of women. Dealing in purple cloth was an honorable and profitable profession for Lydia. I pray that all of you who so graciously took the time to leave your comments about my “growing pains” may continue to find the best water for your “purple cloth deal.” May all of your “passwords” bless your life with quality and may someone touch your heart as you’ve touched mine.
“The purple heather is the cloak.”