‘Steel Magnolias’ is the title of a lovely movie I saw one late night on TV. It describes a person (persons in this particular movie) of combined tender gentle qualities alongside that of steady strength --- a calm quiet force.
It made me think of people, friends particularly I have known through the years, which have gone through the worst of times and yet stood 10 feet tall -- Such indomitable spirit and courage in facing life’s trials, setbacks, and burdens. Amazing, isn’t it? We thus would heap on them a lot of good names in appreciation and admiration of their sterling qualities but I must admit that nothing beats this apt description as a -- Steel Magnolia.
What’s a magnolia? It’s a beautiful flower as shown in the picture above. And a flower is best described as soft, velvety, fragile, delicate, frail, and silky -- Qualities commonly attributed to women or the so-called weaker sex.
Steel, on the other hand, is rigid, inflexible, hard, unbending, firm, solid, durable, sturdy, tough, and strong – qualities too used to describe the male specie.
I think you are getting the full picture now.
A steel magnolia incorporates the best of two opposites --- the gentleness of a flower and the strength of steel that suggests the quality of hardness of mind and spirit --- creating a calm quiet subtle force and power of its own.
There are many of them, women particularly, who trudge on with their difficult lives, situations, relationships, circumstances, conditions and challenges. All for a reason visible or invisible and although their reasons may vary with their different life stories but the fortitude, purpose, and determination they possess are the same.
I salute these women – the Steel Magnolias of our time. I dare not judge them for their lives --- not until I am able to know their hearts because it is there where the real stories truly reside. How magnificent is the Lord for making this possible in an ordinary fragile imperfect human being. May God bless them all!