The moving van pulled up to the front door of my apartment complex one late spring day. With twelve families in the building, people were always moving in and out. “Big deal,” I thought. Most likely we would never even meet. In a large complex, true friendships rarely occur.
I watched curiously from my living room window as the truck was unloading. The furnishings had a style I was not accustomed to seeing. The pieces were unique, very colorful, with an undeniable Latino flare. It would be interesting to know who this furniture belonged to.
The new tenants moved into an apartment on the only side of the building. I doubted we would ever cross paths, though I was curious about them. My six-year-old daughter and I were busy between her school and my work schedule. As a newly divorced woman, my life had little time for much else. Soon I forgot about the new neighbors.
Out of school for the summer, a dear lady from my church babysat my daughter while I worked. She was well cared for, though longed for other children to play with. To fulfill that longing, she and I would head for the park every night after dinner. She loved the playground. As for me, I got a chance to relax in the sunshine on a park bench, keeping a watchful eye as she joined the other children at play.
One day I saw a new little girl in the midst of the children. She was the most beautiful child I had ever seen. As an amateur poet, one easily intrigued to write about sights and sounds, I quickly pulled the pen and paper from my purse. Watching this amazing scene, I penned these words:
A vision of pure loveliness stood before my eyes -
Sun’s warming rays adorned her beauty from Heaven’s clear blue skies.
Quietly she stood with playing children all around.
She seemed engulfed within a world that held her soul spellbound.
Her lovely skin, brown from the sun, was tanned exactly right.
Dark curls caressed squared shoulders well on this hot summer night.
Approaching to get a closer look, I gazed upon her face -
I gasped at her perfection, chiseled by the Master’s grace.
High cheekbones sat on either side of a delicate button nose,
Her lips were curled slightly, colored as a fine red rose.
Wide-set eyes were sparkling bright, rich black with flecks of gold,
Long lashes touched arched eyebrows, so lusciously thick and bold.
I longed to hear the voice of this small angel I did meet,
For I knew it would be as a song, a melody so sweet.
I quickly moved in front of her to be within clear view,
Then bending down, I smiled and said, “Hello, and how are you?”
She put her hands up to her mouth, then a finger in each ear,
With solemn eyes she shook her head - the message was quite clear.
This child was not perfect after all – could it be so?
It seemed a cruel and unfair fate; my spirits now were low.
Suddenly, other children made a circle all around -
All eyes beheld God’s angel as they sat upon the ground.
She smiled warmly at them all, then with hands, made a sign,
Each child tried most earnestly to repeat her design.
This greeting among friends meant more than any I had heard,
For it came from hearts filled with a love that needed not a word.
Imperfect? No! I was so wrong - this child was just right,
God’s perfect angel was indeed that – and what a glorious sight!
At dusk, the children parted ways. I watched the little angel girl join her mother. I knew I just had to meet them. I introduced myself. She smiled, and apologized for her limited English. She explained that they had just relocated to the States from Brazil. There was an immediate connection between us. Her car followed mine to the local ice cream parlor so we could become better acquainted. I soon discovered that these were our new neighbors!
Adriana and I became fast friends. I helped her learn English, and she helped me with sign language! Bianca and my daughter soon were talking the same language – a universal one that uses hands instead of words.
Love in any language is the same around the world. I learned that from my native Brazilian friend and one of God’s special little angels!
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