Before I even had the chance to place both of my feet off of the bus and on the ground, a pretty, little orphan girl ran up to me and threw her arms around my waist. A little startled, I took a slight step back, then relaxed, and put my arms around her. I was a complete stranger to her, yet she hugged me with love.
I looked down at this little, Nicaraguan girl, whose arms were tightly wrapped around me. She had on a patterned dress with pink and red flowers. Her dark skin matched her brown eyes. Her hair was clipped back and she had a smile that could light up this whole world.
Spanish words began to flow from her mouth like a river without an end. My heart ached to understand what she was trying to tell me.
Rosalinda was her name. I understood that much. What a beautiful name, I thought. Words continued to roll off her tongue. I quickly realized that she spoke not a single word of English.
Realizing that I could not understand her, she sighed, then dragged me over to her “room” in the orphanage. There were about 30 beds all in a row. I tried to ask her (with motions) to show me which bed was hers. She finally understood what I was trying to motion and led me to a bed with only a single blanket and a stuffed teddy bear. I smiled. She then pulled me to the center of the room and I gathered that she wanted me to pick her up and spin her in circles. I smiled again. How could I resist that innocent, beautiful face of hers? I spun her around for over 20 minutes. I loved listening to her laugh. She was happy, which made me happy. I had only known this girl for an hour, and we speak completely different languages, yet there is such a strong connection.
About two short hours later, it came time for me to leave Rosalinda and go back to the hotel. I knew I was not going to see her for a long time. As her sparkling brown eyes glanced up and locked with mine for the last time, I felt a tear slide down my cheek. I leaned down to her and gently whispered in her ear, “Te amo mucho, Rosalinda. Te amo mucho.” She whispered back; her words broken, “I…love…you.”
I hold this little girl so very close to my heart. When I think of her now, I envision her smile. Rosalinda and I spoke completely different languages, yet I will never forget the impact she had on my life. It was not through words, but through smiles, love, and Jesus Christ. When Rosalinda and I shared those three things, it didn’t matter what language we were speaking…
I believe there is no language barrier.
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