As we were leaving the orphanage one afternoon, a little girl from the village, whose name we later learned is Widlene, approached Cherie and said she was hungry.  The girl was wearing a woman’s one piece bathing suit, which was way too big for her, and a headscarf.  She was barefoot.

Cherie didn’t have any food to give her, but she noticed that Widlene kept looking at her shoes, which were a pair of cheap flip flops.  Cherie wanted to give the shoes to the girl immediately, but it was too dangerous to walk barefoot.  So Cherie told Widlene, in French, that she’d give her the shoes the next day.

The next morning when we we got up, Widlene was already waiting outside the mission house.  When Cherie handed her the flip flops, Widlene just beamed, as if she’d received a expensive new toy.

The next day Cherie saw Widlene playing in the street with one of her friends, but she was barefoot again.  Cherie’s first reaction was that someone must have stolen the shoes.  Then she noticed that Widlene’s little friend was wearing them.  And later Widelene was wearing them again, and her friend was barefoot.

They were sharing the shoes.

Love Wins

2 comments on “Widlene

  1. Zambian Lady says:

    I have countless pairs of shoes now – actually yesterday I tried counting them but they are in different places and so I could not get the correct number. I remember being like Widlene once when times were tough in my childhood. My other friends did not have shoes either and so if one had a pair (usually flip flops), we would share and each one would wear one flip flop. Oh, life was good then because we did not see our poverty. We only saw that our friends loved us enough to let us wear one of their flip flops. Life was indeed good.


    • Bill says:

      Thank you for this lovely and touching comment. We later met Widlene’s mother and sister. They were very poor but their love for one another was obvious and very moving. It’s helpful to be reminded of what makes life good.


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