Krista Lynn Campbell

the red dress

Nothing attracts attention like a red dress. ~Laura Bush

Her red dress looked so familiar. A photo search revealed the answer. Two years earlier on a unique shopping day in Tanzania a little girl fell in love with a red dress.

As my husband climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, I enjoyed special time with our sponsored children: Goodluck and Hilda. They giggled in the back seat of their first car ride and showed off their coloring skills while we waited for lunch. After home visits and before goodbyes, it was time to shop. 

With the translator’s help, I expressed my desire to purchase the children a pair of shoes and an article of clothing. My American thinking assumed sneakers would be selected. But Goodluck’s Aunt and Hilda’s Mother knew best. Sturdier dress shoes for school and church. Practical overruled popular.

As our small group weaved in and out of the clothing market stalls, Goodluck settled on a shirt, a pink golf shirt. The bright color matched his brilliant smile. 

Hilda studied the dresses. She chose a red one; too big and too long. One for the future. Always practical. 

When the mail delivered my new picture, there stood Hilda in her red dress. No longer too big or too long, but just right. Her growth and beauty beamed. 

Her picture provided a long-distance connection: miles vanished, memories refocused, and joy returned. My heart warmed as I remembered and recalled the day and her delight. All because of a red dress. 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 (NIV)


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