Rev. Sudha Mehta©
She was a regular presence at the store. her job was by the door, sometimes at the entrance, but usually at the exit. She was a greeter as you came or as you left the store.
Miss Purple is what I called her. What else would you call her since she was always in purple . . . purple lady, lady in purple . . . ?
For the nearly two decades that the store had been open I had shopped there every week. She always stood out . . . in her purple head to toe purple everything. she colored her hair purple, wore purple pearls and other jewelry, purple clothes, purple shoes, purple makeup, purple scarves (including purple boas around hr neck). she always had her nails done (purple off course). glitter on nails or eyes was a sure thing, as long as it was purple. She was the only one allowed to go without the blue vest the rest of the staff wore. I guess the managers favored her and she became somewhat of a beloved mascot.
I never saw her without a smile! She greeted people warmly as they entered and as they exited. I loved to chat with her although usually there was no time since there were other customers around. She loved little greetings like “Hey Miss Purple!” or “Hey lady, i love that purple _______.”
When visiting with friends that shopped at the same store, we would sometimes speak of Miss Purple and chuckle about her outlandish sense of fashion and we were all agreed that she was a “Hoot!” with a sense of humor and incredible self-confidence. She always had a fun one-liner along with her funky style.
Then last summer one day as I was exiting the store, I asked how she was doing, she said she was well, and announced to me that she would be retiring in a few days. I was very surprised, but with people lined up behind me I kept it short. I told her she would be missed much, and wished her well. I hoped to see her again at least once before she was done, but sadly she was gone before I got to the store.
My biggest regret: I didn’t really make too much of an effort to share Christ with her. perhaps she knew Him. I know He made all color and He likes purple, but I never found out for sure. After all these years, other than little greetings at the door that included remarks about the weather, or the grandkids etc, I knew little about her, although it had been made clear her husband loved her much and bought a number of purple jewelry items for her.
After a mention of her to the Jesus, and a request to watch over her, I moved on. It is fair to say she faded from all our collective memory and we all moved on.
Then, I went shopping for some groceries today at the same store. I go once a week. For some reason as I was greeted by another familiar face of many years at the entrance, I asked,”Hey, do you hear anything from Miss Purple?”
Surprised by the query, she replied,”Oh, she died last year.”
“Whaaaat?! oh, my . . . she died??!!” I was totally taken aback.
“Oh yeah, it was sudden. She was in her eighties you know, and she drove a distance to come every day. . . . That morning, she went to the salon and got her nails done, her hair done, came home and said she felt tired and just wanted to lie down for a bit . . . and she never woke up!”
We both paused and agreed that that is the best way to go! No sickness, no prolonged illness, just go! And she died in true fashion in all her purple regalia in her purple bed, lying in her purple sheets in her purple room. perhaps even a purple house.
But . . . where did she go???
Then I asked her co-worker who had worked beside her for many years and had just given me all this information, “I knew her as only Miss Purple, what was her name?”
She paused, thought a moment, was clearly embarrassed as she said,”You know . . . I don’t know!!!”
POOF! Here today, gone tomorrow! Will people remember you? How will people remember you? What will speak to them most about you?
James 4:14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.(NASB)
Besides, if people forget your name, is your name written in the only book that matters? the Bible calls that Book “The Lamb’s Book of Life.” If your name is found in it you will spend eternity with Him in heaven. The Bible also tells us that for all who receive Jesus as their personal Savior, He has a New Name reserved that will be made known in heaven.
Revelation 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.'(NASB)
The older I get, the faster life seems to go. I don’t know how long I will be here, neither do you. I do know I want to be remembered by more than my favorite color.
I want to be remembered by my name, “Sudha” translates to Holy Water. or Living Water. I want to be known for my love for Jesus and for loving people like He loves them. Hopefully people will remember me for how their lives have been impacted for the better.
I know He doesn’t want anyone to perish without knowing Him.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (NASB)
Lord help me to not miss any opportunities to share You with others.
Simple, and it says it all!