Grace in Black and White

I love old black and white movies. So when I heard that one of my all time favorites, “Roman Holiday,” celebrated it’s 65th anniversary, I couldn’t help but recall one of the reasons this movie has withstood the test of time: it was Audrey Hepburn. Her wit and charm captured audiences the moment she appeared up on that large screen, she was a vision of grace in black and white.

But, there was so much more to her than an image. She had a contagious appreciation for life, which came, in part, because of her experiences as a child. To her, each day was a gift. Audrey projected this up on the screen and in real life.

Unfortunately, we all know how so many times an image gets idealized, only to find out the image and the ideal do not go hand in hand. But, in this case, time did not disappoint! Audrey’s legacy has aged well. That’s why even after all these years, I am pleased to pass the torch, or rather the DVD, along with the box of popcorn to my daughter and now grand-daughters. The movie and the woman are classic!

Audrey pushed back against the norm of Hollywood’s expectations and lifestyle, but she did it with gentleness, and charm. She also had her own style, often wearing slacks, instead of dresses, flats instead of heals. This was partly due to her height, and the fact she had large feet, so it was also practical. Women adored her fresh ideas and her honesty, which helped pave the way for the styles to change so that women could drop some of their pretense.

Designers respected her opinion, as well. They loved this tall and slender girl that was now their new model. So they did not hesitate, with her in mind, as they created gowns that were stylish, but not provocative. Audrey’s pleasing appearance, along with her caring attitude exhibited grace and transcended multiple generations, which made it easy for her’s to become a household name.

While taking interviews, in her later life, a window was finally opened revealing the reasons for her humble nature and acts of gratitude. During the war, her life was harsh. Experiencing starvation as a child had left its mark. She was extremely appreciative that she had survived, now she wanted to make sure other children had the opportunity to do the same.

It seems that this crisis, at such a young age, became the prism through which the rest of her life was filtered, and it eventually led to her calling. Audrey believed, because of her unique past, her calling was to work with children in need. She believed it so strongly, that this woman who extended a hand of grace to those while she lived, also made provisions for it to continue long past her lifetime.

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me,
(Matthew 25:35-36 NIV)

Have there been times of crisis that you’ve overcome? What hardships or struggles from your past now shape your life? When we allow God to take those most difficult times from our past and use them to help heal, comfort, strengthen or give courage to someone else, then we share in the Grace of our Lord.

Ephesians 2:4-8


  1. Jackie Miller on September 14, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    I did not know all of this! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful history and such a powerful lesson!

    • Regina Becknell on September 14, 2018 at 8:38 pm

      She did have an interesting and sad childhood. Makes you realize people can use their stories for good, or the other way…but the story is always the interesting part to me. The “why” behind the choices. In this situation she didn’t share it very much until she was older…This goes to show how our actions and our life’s story really does live longer than we do…

  2. Donna H. on September 14, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    When my son died 5 years ago of an undiagnosed brain disorder (resulting in suicide), God carried me as I cried out and many days couldn’t move. God sent healing over time. “Passing it on” I think is one of the hopes of this world as we love and help others based on what we’ve learned from our life experiences. Through us God works if we just listen to His gentle voice, pray for His will and finally show up & take a chance. I’ve told God sometimes “not able now/broken but I want to– maybe later” and I’ve found He brings His plans back to me again. Thanks for your inspiring writing Regina!

    • Regina Becknell on September 14, 2018 at 8:26 pm

      I get that! I do think sometimes the being still IS all that you can do, or are suppose to do after those tragedies. Maybe it is because when you have seen more, and experienced more, time is relevant. But it is in those times only God’s time matters. And time with HIM is much more precious. His presence is everything. Healing is the proiority, and some days that just means breathing is all we can do…Then, when He presents an opportunity you know it is time. And it isn’t rehearsed it is His words just falling out of what just happened. For some things, there is no script…there is just the Lord! I sure do appreciate your honest heart Donna! It is what makes sisters in Christ!

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