On the sabbath we went outside the city gate along the river where we thought there would be a place of prayer. We sat and spoke with the women who had gathered there. One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth, from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened, and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying. After she and her household had been baptized, she offered us an invitation, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us. (Acts 16:13-15)
I’ve always loved the story of Lydia. What a powerful woman she must have been. This passage is one of the “we” sections of the Acts of the Apostles. Lydia and her household become the first converts of Paul in Europe. I’ll never forget my visit to the Baptistery of Saint Lydia in Phillipi when we washed our feet in the river where she was baptized.