A Sunday Story

It was the kind of seminar she loved – music, a bit of fellowship, and lots of things that made her think. And then, it was time to go, to tend to her long to do list at home. But first, a stop at the ladies room because the seminar had also included all the iced tea she could drink.

People, nicely dressed, mostly in black, milled around in the large gallery area outside the chapel. She didn’t think much of it. Several things were going on at church that day. In the ladies room, one woman was helping a much younger girl with her dress – and blocking access to the toilet. The woman smiled nervously, “Sorry.”

“It’s okay,” she said. Because that’s what you say, even when your bladder is about to burst and you’re a little cranky about being blocked from immediate relief.

When she emerged to wash her hands, the woman and young girl were gone. A different woman, late 50-ish, was standing at the sink fiddling with her make-up.

“Oh, hi,” the woman said, and then sighed heavily. “My mother is mad at me because I have on too much glitter.”

“Oh….Can you have too much glitter?” she asked, conspiratorially.

“Well, it is a funeral,” she said with a shy, embarrassed smile.

“Oh! I’m so sorry!”

“Yes, my dad’s funeral.”

“I’m really sorry to hear that. I’m sure your dad would smile to see you looking pretty and sparkly.”

“Yes! That’s what I wanted! I wanted to look pretty for Daddy. But I don’t usually wear glitter and I kinda spilled it and got a lot more on than I thought. And now my mom is mad.”

The woman looked up as she explained the glitter mishap. Such a tiny woman in a perfectly fitted black dress. Her jet black hair framed soft brown eyes accented with false eyelashes, bold streaks of deep purple eye shadow, and yes, big globs of glitter at the corners of her eyes. From the way she spoke, it was clear that she was not a middle-aged woman with a misguided sense of style. She was just a little girl who wanted to look pretty for her Daddy.

She turned back toward the mirror, trying once again to remove the stray pieces of glitter scattered on her cheeks. “Well, I think you look pretty. I’m sure that your dad thinks so, too.” And she hoped the grieving woman believed her. Because it was true. Past the false eyelashes, the purple eye shadow, and the glitter, her sweet spirit showed through. And she was beautiful.

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