I can see why Saint Ignatius loved using his imagination in prayer and in reading scripture. (In fact, his imagination helped foster his conversion.) Today’s reading from the book of Acts really captivates mine. I can picture the scene: a group of bright-faced, cheerful, tired disciples approaching a glistening waterfront, where the local women come together and visit. On this day, their lives would change forever. It was the sabbath. The tension and beauty is palpable. The Lord enters the scene, meeting them right as they are, like Jesus did when he called his disciples: fishing, collecting taxes, under a fig tree, minding their daily affairs.

I picture Lydia as a beautiful, if not slightly intimidating woman. She was probably a savvy businesswomen; she sold purple cloth, a luxury good at that time. Was Paul hesitant to approach her? Did she size him up? What were their first words? What would that scene look like today? What’s also striking about this story is how it ends: with Lydia’s conversion, gratitude and desire to serve.

How grateful are you to God for his blessings? How do you serve him in return?

—Kristin Dillon is a lay minister who has worked with Charis Ministries and Holy Name Cathedral. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son.