It was such a small, small thing. And I’m no hero. I took off my shoes — my stinkin’ $5 Walmart flipflops — and gave them to the woman in the hut — the woman who really needed them.
And I walked out of her village barefoot. Walked right down that path with my lily-white tender feet, and my skirt balled up in my fists, and that’s when the real gift came: Because there was this other Haitian woman … a woman with a dirt floor and a tarp for a roof … and she went on ahead of me, always a few steps ahead, and cleared a path for my feet, afraid I’d step on one of those painful thorns that would have sent me into a fit. She picked up thorns upon thorns, and she brushed sticks to the side. And she kept bending over, and again once more, for me — the barefooted, tenderfooted American.
I think I might weep now, remembering it all, remembering that her sacrifice was far more than mine, how she kept stooping low to help a fellow human being.
And all I did was give up a pair of $5 flipflops. I have 10 more, besides.
(I just can’t stop thinking about her, the woman who stooped low. Can’t stop thinking about what it really means to give, and how her posture is the posture of the giver. This post first shared on my Facebook page, but I wanted to share it with you as well today…)
“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” ~ Mother Teresa