My friend challenged me to look for God working when I went on a trip to France for our anniversary. I thought this might be a challenge, but it was easy; there was kindness everywhere.
In France, I felt God’s love all around me in the kindness of strangers. I could not sleep the first night we arrived, so the host opened the veranda, kept a watchful eye until I went to sleep at 6 am, and thoughtfully wished me bonne nuit (good night). On a bike tour, our guide continued to send text recommendations on what to do in the different cities we visited. One couple helped me navigate the train in Nice, and a French girl showed me how to get my parking pass in St. Remy.
Two amazing acts were the Hotel host who gave me his personal medication when my husband’s back went out and arranged for an orthopedic expert to visit our room. And, when a random Frenchman helped me park in an impossibly small spot in Gordes and even guided my steering wheel to help. This photo was taken in Gordes, one of our favorite villages in Provence.
These random acts of kindness may have seemed small to the givers, but they profoundly affected me. They made me feel at home in an unfamiliar place and reminded me how connected and similar we are.
Kindness is a powerful way God works in our world. It is evident in how people care for one another with tenderness and concern. We all need help sometimes, and kindness sees that need and is willing to help. Kindness is love in action.
Philippians 2:4 says, “Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.”
I want to be like Tennessee Williams and “always depend on the kindness of strangers” instead of being skeptical of them. The French-inspired me to not only depend on kindness but to pay it forward and spread it wherever I go.