Myrtle and Beulah
These two dear ladies in the Baptist church where I was raised, were as different as ice cream and crème fraîche. One day, as the story goes, Ed, a man with the greenest thumb I’ve ever known, was working in the church flower beds. Beulah came past and warned him to be careful to get all those weeds out or else they’d take over. He thanked her for her concern and carried on. Later that same day, Myrtle was also by the church, and commented to Ed how lovely the tiny little new flowers were.
Perhaps apocryphal, but illustrative nonetheless. Beulah and Myrtle were both, without question, women of strong faith. They loved God and served Him throughout their lives. Neither married and it is my belief that Myrtle just loved Jesus too much to take any of her energy away from Him for another relationship. It is also my suspicion that perhaps Beulah understood that no man would or could ever love her as well as her Lord. Frankly, that is true of every one of us.
So Myrtle was a foreign missionary and mistress of the Baptist bookstore. Beulah taught Sunday School and made the most wonderful butter mints for every wedding reception held in that church. They served.
We all have our callings in this world, and He who calls also prepares us. Myrtle was so full of grace and love, people were drawn to her, desiring for themselves that beautiful difference. But what is grace without discipline? Beulah understood how easy it is to stray from the path, veering toward destruction. It wasn’t negativity which gave her to see the weeds before the blossoms, but a certain guardianship of those tender blooms. Myrtle nurtured; Beulah defended. They were prayer warriors and tremendous women of God.