We know more about Lydia than we do about some of the apostles. Lydia was a successful businesswoman. We know she was a Gentile who participated in Jewish worship services. We know that through Paul she was converted to Christ and was baptised. In fact, Lydia’s was the first recorded conversion in all of Europe. Finally, we know that Lydia was so moved by her newfound relationship with Christ that she opened her home to Paul and his companions while they continued to preach in the city of Philippi.
But that’s all we know. After this one passage, Lydia disappears from the scene altogether; and we never hear about her again. So what happened to her? Lydia probably continued to work at her business and look after her family as before; but it’s likely that she also shared the story of her conversion with her business associates and friends. She had her own network of relationships, and she probably used that network to build up the Church.
In a sense, Lydia is more of a role model for us than St. Paul. Very few of us, unless we actively seek it, will ever find ourselves in the spotlight. Our stories will probably never be written down and preserved for centuries. But like Lydia, we can play an important role in the kingdom of God just by looking for opportunities right here in our everyday lives and among the people we know. All we have to do is keep our eyes open for an opportunity to share the Gospel.