Reaching for Red

IMG_3875I never met her personally but Elisabeth Elliot* was one of a handful of older women who shaped my life through their books. Many years ago, I heard she was speaking at an event and I couldn’t wait to hear her. I don’t remember anything she said. I do remember her nails were brightly painted.

It wasn’t what I expected.

Bright nails? Too flashy, too bold, too impractical. I don’t think I got a manicure for my wedding (still too hippy-ish) but I did get one for my kids’ weddings. “I’ll take clear please” was my request. Didn’t want to have to worry about unsightly chips I reasoned.

Slowly, my polish choices slid into “neutrals.” Nail polish itself felt like a big step and “neutral” expressed my thoughts on the topic. Safe, blending, not too noticeable.

I got tired of “neutral.”

As I stepped on the stage for the third act of my life a few years ago, about where Elisabeth Elliott was at that time, I reached for the red.

It’s my first choice now, unless I’m grabbing the purple. I’m ready for bold.

Last time I was in my local nail shop where instead of a TV blaring, worship music fills the air, a young woman walked in. She was prepping for a gala evening and looking for some polish. She headed for the neutrals. “Wow you’re really rockin’ that red” she said to me as she walked by.”

“Yes, I wish I hadn’t been so timid so long. I’m letting my nails express the fullness of life I feel” … or something like that. She stopped and slowly turned back to the rack and grabbed a red. “I want that too, thank you.”

Maybe my bright polish will be a phase but I’m not backing down from reaching for the fullness of life, especially now. The reminder is always at the tips of my fingers.

Hope for the best,


PS More on Elisabeth Elliot


4 Responses to “Reaching for Red”

  1. 1 mary nelson March 7, 2016 at 5:49 PM

    in a few days I turn sixty—it may not be red on my nails BUT I feel red in several areas that are awakening. thanks for the story.

  2. 3 Knight, Doris E March 7, 2016 at 6:43 PM

    Amen Miss Tish, Amen.

    Dorie Knight
    Guardian Case Manager

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