My friend knows I love hats and so she brought me a lovely wide-brimmed, brightly-colored pink hat from her trip this past week-end! I can't wait to wear it! You'll know it when you see it!
I'm so glad it wasn't red but there's a reason why. I was reminded of something I've wanted to write about for many years!
Before we moved to Branson, I worked in Eureka Springs AR, for several years when we were pastoring at Green Forest AR. Both towns are in Carroll County, but that's where any similarity ends!
It would be quite a task to find another county, anywhere like this! I know both towns well. Green Forest on the far eastern part of the county is a small farming town in the foothills and Tyson chicken houses and a big Tyson processing plant are main income factors. Just over 25-miles west is Eureka Springs and they are as different as day and night!
Eureka Springs is strictly a tourist destination with vast distinctions in the clientele who visit this unique little "almost-Victorian" village tucked away in the Ozark Hills.
However, I often saw groups of women who were obviously part of The "Red Hat Society". The quaint hotels and dozens of Bed & Breakfast facilities are natural attractions and the Shops cater to their tradition of red hats and purple dresses. Though I was in my early forties, I recognized the bond of friendships that held them together.
Some of these women (generally 50 and older according to the RHS website) are widowed and lonely, some still married but eager to find a place to express themselves and override the monotony of long, mundane marriages. Or perhaps they were long-ago single women looking for fun and friendship. Whatever their status, the common goal, seems to be a desperation to find identity and camaraderie, before life passes them by.
I've been asked dozens of times to join the Red Hat Society, or accused of "belonging," because I love to have fun. But my response is the same, "I don't want to be offensive but I DON'T NEED A RED HAT (or a purple dress) TO FIND MY IDENTITY OR TO HAVE FUN!"
(1) I have found myself and know who I am because of the Blood of Jesus! He covers me in His Blood, through His sacrificial death on the Cross for me!
(2) I don't need a purple dress, because I am now a daughter of the King of Kings and He has blessed me with His Royal Robes fit for His special child! That's me!
(3) I have been set FREE because of the Deliverance and Freedom purchased for me at Calvary! I love the freedom He gives me
(4) I have the best Friends in Christ, because we celebrate each other; we pray for one another and we have more fun than a group of teens out looking for a party! We are the Party! and even younger women desire the special bond that only comes by the Spirit who seals our relationship in Him!
Hey! Come join us! Old or young, male or female, join this Blood-Bought Group of Christ-Follower! We are sent out to "Change The World" sharing the Love of Christ to a lost and dying world‼️
Just look for me! I could be dancing along, wearing my "New Pink Hat"!