May 07

Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you . . . have refreshed the hearts of the saints. —Philemon 7 (NIV)

I don't wear a lot of makeup. But today I'm going to have brunch with my daughter and talk about her wedding next year. So, as I stood before the mirror, I reached out for a lipstick and began to put it on. As the light brown color rolled smoothly on, I realized with a sudden flash—a mix of joy and pain—where that lipstick had come from.

Months before, as I was convalescing from a long illness, a friend had encouraged me to stop hiding and to stop feeling that I couldn't manage the routine of daily life. Her idea? "Come out to lunch," she said. "We'll go to the little restaurant across the street."

Across the street seemed to me like crossing the Red Sea. But I did as I was told, put on an outfit that had hung untouched in my closet for months and crossed the street. My friend was already there, sitting at a comfortable table by the window looking out over the busy street, where people were going calmly about their daily lives. After we had ordered our lunch, she handed me a small gift bag. "Here," she said, "you need this."

Surprised, I looked into the bag. And there was a lipstick. Not a garish or brightly colored lipstick, but the one I am wearing today as I go with delight and eagerness to meet my daughter. After that lunch with my friend, I carefully put on the lipstick and began to look forward.

Thank You, Lord, for the support of friends and the grace-filled touch of a lipstick.

—Briggitte Weeks