The Graciousness of People

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 18:28 | Filled in Inspiration

Sometimes we don’t notice the most wonderful gestures of care that people around us give.  As Rick and I have been wondering through Northern Europe we have been treated with such kindness and love by many people we have met.  Being new to the area we are like “Babes in the Woods”.  Many times we didn’t know how to get things we needed or where to go to find things.  Like all explorers we found out everything through talking to people, discovering the workings of things and sometimes through the aid of others who wished us well and wanted us to enjoy our visit in their country.

I started thinking about this and was reminded that this is what our attitude should be towards each other, wishing people the best in their lives and helping them along with what they are called to do.  I think I will always remember the attitude of a person I met who saw our difficulty in finding a van (there were none available to rent) to help us to pick up our shipment of goods from Rotterdam.  He knew a friend who would help us, and his friend very kindly drove us to get our things and it was a very difficult time we had getting there.  Another time when we needed some basic things like warm bedding, since we were not from the northern climates, a gentleman offered us warm bedding and other things that we needed, because he saw our need and wanted to help.  There are many of these moments in our lives and we need to be more conscious of them and in so doing become more conscious of the needs of others that come in contact with us.

At one of the marinas on the way, I asked the harbor master if he had laundry facilities.  He told me,” no”.  However, later on that day he came back and said that there was a washing machine at the yard across the way that I could use.  So, I took my clothes over there and washed them.  Then he told me that I could hang them in the loft with clothes pins (which he provided), if I wanted to.  He didn’t have to do any of that, but he saw my need and he asked others if I could use the washer and volunteered the space for me to dry my clothes.  This was a good lesson, to remind me to listen to the needs of people around me.   Another time, I went to Mass and afterwards people gathered for coffee and cookies.  I decided to go since I didn’t know anyone and I was curious about what this parish was doing for hospitality for it’s parishioners.  I met a woman there from Romania and the pastor brought in a lady from Spain.  Well, we had one very international table, speaking of course several languages.  The two ladies were in the country alone.  Their families were back in their homelands.  So, this was a great opportunity for them to meet and create a new friendship.  Some beautiful moments can occur when not even expecting anything.   I’m sure there are many more little incidents like this and I will be paying more attention to them and learning more about caring for the needs of others.  I am grateful and thankful for the graciousness of others.  For this to me is God working in the world.

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