Becky had known the party would be a waste of time.
She looked around. The church basement was full of lively, smiling single adults. All of them seemed to have discovered the key to meeting and talking to the opposite sex.
Becky sighed and regretted half of the party treats that she’d just mindlessly eaten. She smoothed her blouse over her too-ample pants and longed to be out there with the others. She knew she wasn’t entirely unattractive, yet too many years of too many full plates had piled on the pounds. These days, single women had to have a lot to offer the dwindling numbers of available men, and years of trying had taught her that most men wouldn’t look past those extra pounds to see her personality.
She was a teacher and had no trouble speaking to groups. But try as she might, she couldn’t bring herself to go up and chat without feeling like a man’s eyes were looking right through her. Everyone has bad habits, but Becky felt as though she wore hers on her body for the world to see.
If only she could be like Tina: blonde and slim and so lovely that she turned heads. Becky watched as Tina talked to first one man and then another. She longed for Tina’s easy way with them; if she could talk like that with men, she’d be able to easily find and charm the right one.
But to men, Becky was a pal: the one who listened when they talked about the women they liked. She wasn’t the one whose smile acted like a flame to a moth. She longed to get out and enjoy the party, but what was the use?
“Hi Becky. Can I talk to you a minute?”
Becky looked up. It was Pastor Ken. Of all the single guys there, he was the best looking. He was exactly the type of man she wished she could attract. Since he’d come to the church last month, many of the women had buzzed about his good looks and easy charm.
“Sure, Pastor Ken. What’s up?”
He smiled at her and she could swear that her toes curled. He turned and faced her and all of a sudden she wasn’t too heavy and ungainly.
“Becky, I enjoyed your talk at the VBS meeting. You have a way of bringing the Word to life. Sister Ames hasn’t been feeling well recently, and I was wondering if you’d mind taking her place as the speaker for the district conference next month.”
She should have known. It wasn’t about dating. This was Ken the Pastor and Becky the Pal. She sighed again, but didn’t hesitate. She’d been planning to go to the conference anyway, and she didn’t mind giving a speech. “Sure, Pastor. No problem.”
He smiled and squeezed her hand as he began to stand up. “Thanks, Becky. You’re the best.” He turned as if to go, but hesitated. “Why aren’t you out there enjoying the party? There are lots of nice people here tonight.”
She blushed and stammered, “Oh, I’m not much of a party girl.”
He laughed. ”That’s a real surprise, coming from such a confident lady.”
Confident? Her? How could she be confident when men saw only her weight and not her true self? “Not me. Confidence is for people like Tina.” She indicated the smiling blonde.
He laughed. “You’d be surprised, Becky. Tina may seem popular with men, but she’s two years older than you, and she’s single, too.”
Becky hadn’t thought of that. “ I guess maybe she has her own problems finding a guy. But she shouldn’t. After all, she’s beautiful.”
“Maybe,” the pastor replied. “But a girl who looks like that has to wonder if a man sees her for who she is instead of what she looks like. She may look confident, but I happen to know that she has a fear of crowds and could never speak at the conference.”
Pastor Ken stood. “Each of us has our own insecurities. You are a beautiful daughter of God, and some of these people would love to know you better. C’mon out here and join this party.”
He held out his hand and she took it. For the first time that evening, she heard the music and saw the possibilities. She’d never be Tina, but she could be Becky. And Becky planned to enjoy the party tonight.
Proverbs 31:30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
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