Tuesday, July 1

Meet Malaney

Here is a picture of me and my sweet friend Malaney (Ma-lay-nee). She lives in a small village called Guayabal in the Dominican Republic.

I love this picture because we each have a headband that matches our shirt :)

Malaney lives a life of poverty. Her home consists of two rooms for her entire family. Her clothes are dirty. Her skirt is torn. Her feet have no shoes.

But look at that precious smile.

She is a beautiful girl. Her smile and her eyes light up her entire face. She was always quick to hold my hand, offer a hug and laugh out loud.

Back home, my clothes are clean. My wardrobe is not ripped. I have more shoes than I can possibly even wear.

Today I am asking myself, do my eyes light up? Do I have a ready smile for those around me? Do I reach for the hand of the loved ones in my life? Do I have hugs to offer those I come in contact with? Is laughter a consistent part of my daily life - even when life is tough?

It was easy to look past Malaney's worn clothes and dirty body while in the Dominican. But why don't I do that at home? Why do I turn away from the homeless and those begging for money? Why do I not offer my hand more readily to the sick? Why is it difficult to relate to those without much money, living in squalor and poverty here? Why do I judge people based off their appearance - if their clothes are old, dirty and worn? Why do I think any individual is less lovable than another?

These are the questions plaguing my mind today.

In the midst of it all, I am praising and thanking God for the life lessons learned from a
beautiful, sweet young girl in the Dominican.

Dios te bendiga my amiga Malaney.

God bless you my friend Malaney.

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