I’ll admit it. I’m a little sad today. We’ve been here several days and I’ve yet to meet my “special friend.” You know, the one child they say will touch your heart and you’ll really bond with. Oh, I’ve met some amazing children, but I don’t think I’ve met “the one” yet.
As we climb into the van to head for Ruby’s Care Point, I whisper a tired and weary prayer. Yes, I’m tired today and a little homesick, but there is much more work to do so I down my bottled water and reach for a piece of chocolate. Yes, chocolate will pep me up a bit!
As I step out of the van, I feel the warm heat from a beautiful Swazi sky. I turn back, reach in the van, and grab my backpack. As I do, I feel a hand slip into mine. I look up and see this face; this beautiful, innocent, clean, smiling face. I say hi and she smiles, takes my hand in hers and doesn’t let go.
I’m a bit startled by this display of affection. This little girl looks to be around 12 years old. She is well groomed and fairly self-confident. I tell her my name and she says hers.
We walk (she’s still holding my hand) and I think to myself, “Could this be the one?”
Deciding to take a break from the hot sun, we go inside. I ask her if she can read and she replies that she can. I ask her if she will read to me, and she goes and gets a book. We sit for the longest time and she reads aloud to me. I’m shocked! She’s a really good reader, so smart!
She asks me about my family, and I share stories and pictures. She’s delightful and like me, she talks with her eyes a lot. She raises her eyebrows and winks at times. (I’m told I wink and that my eyes tell others exactly what I’m thinking, so we share this idiosyncrasy.)
She hasn’t left my side the entire time I’m at Ruby’s, but it’s time for the children to head home, so we must say goodbye. Gazing into my eyes, I feel as though I am seeing her soul. Eyes locked on mine she asks, “Will you come back tomorrow?” “Yes,” I reply. “I will come back to see you tomorrow.” She hugs me and begins her walk home. I wonder to myself what “home” is like for her?
Could this be the one, I think. I need confirmation. Again, I whisper a prayer and eagerly wait for tomorrow’s visit to come.
The next day …
We’re back at Ruby’s, and I’m looking for my new friend. As Liz and I walk together toward the children, she spots me and comes running. I introduce her to Liz and as I do I ask her again to say her name (slowly so I can understand it.). “Noluwethu,” she says. Liz asks her what it means. “Princess,” she declares. “It means Princess.” Liz begins laughing uncontrollably! “Of course it does.” Liz screams. “Of course your name is Princess because her name (pointing to me) is The Queen!”
Okay, may I just pause a moment and say that my name is really not “The Queen,” but my friends LOVE to tease me and tell me that it is!!! I honestly have no idea why they do that but I do know who started it! You know who you are!!!
Honestly, it’s always made me uncomfortable. I mean, do I really act like a “queen” and if so, isn’t that a negative thing? Do others perceive me to think I’m “all that?” I hope not. I desire to be godly and humble, but then again, I do love some fashion and bling, so maybe that’s what they mean.
My friend Caryl explained to me once that when I walk, I walk with my head up not at the ground. She says that’s why she calls me “The Queen” because I walk with confidence in who I am and in who I belong to. That I can live with, I suppose. 🙂
That being said, I knew at that moment that Noluwethu (AKA Princess) was my special friend! How sweet of God to give me a special friend. How sweet of God to confirm it with her name (Princess)! God saw “Princess” and prompted her heart to reach out to me. HE matched us up perfectly! Because we are BOTH “Princesses!” We are both daughters of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, which makes us royal sisters!
Maybe that was God’s way of telling me that it’s “okay” that I’m a “Queen.” Maybe that was His way of reminding me that it’s okay to be perceived as royalty because I am a royal. I’m His royal daughter. All of us who know and love His Son, Jesus, are His royal sons and daughters. And that is a great thing.
Scripture urges us to “Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we have been called.” (Ephesians 4:1) I pray that every woman who knows the Lord will strive to walk worthy of her calling. I pray that she embraces who she is in Christ and walks with her head held high and her eyes on Christ!
I pray this for Noluwethu! I’m not with her each day, but I pray that she truly comes to know more of who she is in Christ and that she walks in the strength and courage of His great might!
I love you sweet Princess!