I read recently that during WW2, the British Red Cross smuggled boxes and boxes of red lipsticks into a Polish concentration camp. The writer relayed that women were found dying with bright red lips, or seen sleeping in rags, emaciated, clutching their lipsticks with colour in their cheeks.
Hope and life had been taken from these women, but for fleeting moments, a silly little tube of lipstick gave them something to give them back their sense of identity and dignity.
Who would have thought? Surely what they needed was food and clothing and ultimately their freedom? Tragically, many of these women never returned from these camps and life was never the same for those who did. But someone at the Red Cross in their wisdom, or maybe their error, gave them a momentary feeling of worth and beauty, gave them something to centre them and distract them from the horrors around them.
The story made me think about some of the ways that we can connect with people living disadvantaged, whether in the Pacific islands or across the street from us. We can’t underestimate the value of the smallest things. What is the red lipstick equivalent that we can bring to their day to day?
Maybe it’s some kind words or a meal. Maybe it’s a commitment…the opportunity to join their friends at school and complete their education. Love you to get involved with all we are doing at A Girl and Her World…