Paint Me

Every Sabbath, when the sun goes down, I feel an overwhelming desire to paint my nails. Allow me to explain.

For the first two years that I observed the Sabbath, I began on Tuesday evenings. Each week around 6:00 p.m. the doorbell would ring and I would open it to an adorable three-year-old named Lisa (not her real name).

Lisa’s mother was a friend from church and small group. She was going through a painful divorce from her drug-addicted husband. She needed a couple of hours once a week for Al-Anon, or counseling, or just a hot bubble bath. So I began the Sabbath by playing with her princess.

Lisa loved to play outside where she could watch for her mommy. While she chalked my concrete porch and adjacent sidewalk, I painted my nails on the front porch swing. One evening she sat down next to me and said, “Paint me, Mrs. Megan.”

So I did. So also began a ritual of nail-painting.

At first I felt disappointed that I had agreed to babysit during my Sabbath, but I think it was Divine intervention. Sabbath says it’s good to hang out with a three-year-old. During those evenings, I quickly put my cares away to focus on Lisa’s cares. At three, she did not need much, just a little extra love and attention.

Now I live in another city, and Lisa can paint her own nails. Her mother is doing well. And I still begin most Sabbaths by painting my nails.