“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.” (Matt 5:7, MSG)
We never were so welcomed than when we visited the peninsula of Gaspésie, especially in the town of Percé. We were truly welcomed like kings. At our campground, the owners supplied us with all the information we could possibly need to facilitate our enjoyment of this beautiful region. As we were setting up our tent trailer, an assistant was sent with us so that we would have the best view possible of the amazing rock formation on the ocean.
This friendliness was not solely restricted to this campground, either. Everywhere we went we were welcomed. True, there were a few merchants who must have come from our part of the world, as they were indifferent; still, overall these Gaspesians were truly a caring people.
For example we went to a honey farm. There too, we were warmly greeted. Everything was explained to us in details about how honey is made. The guide showed us his entire farm! When the guide heard that I taught French, he stopped in his tracks and shook my hand. “That’s quite a good job that you are doing!” When we bought some honey products, he discounted them all. When it was time for us to leave, he gave my wife two kisses on the cheeks. Quite a French gentleman!
Everywhere we went, people would say hi, even on the streets and hiking trails. It made us feel completely at home.
However this was not our experience throughout the province of Quebec. When we camped near Montreal, we were not greeted as heroes. When I asked for a map of the campground, I was told I didn’t need one. We asked if we could buy a case of water bottles, as they had numerous cases. She turned us down.
At night we weren’t even able to sleep, as they were hosting an outdoor concert that lasted until midnight. All we could hear from our campsite was the booming bass. We finally fell asleep after that, only to be awaken at 4:30 by children yelling and running around the park. I couldn’t help but smile. I sure missed la Gaspésie!
It was a good lesson for me, however. So often we fail at being hospitable. Something has aggravated us during the day, and somehow Dr. Jekyll (or is it Mr. Hide?) takes over the reins of our lives. During these times, we are far from being shiny exemples of our Heavenly reality.
It is way better to give than to receive. When we are grumblers, we rob others from experiencing our Heavenly Father. However, when we care for others, trying to make them feel special, listening to what they have to say, we will have a positive impact on them. They will feel welcome. Only then will we feel blessed, as we are now walking in the very footsteps of our Master, who is a specialist in caring.
Just yesterday I saw a clerk in a bookstore carrying a heavy box. She was clearly in distress. I went immediately to help her. She was so astonished, and she thanked me with heartfelt warmth. It’s times like this that we shine brightly, and it sure makes us feel special as well.
Once love has reached us, we can’t help but to love in return, even if our circumstances have been grim. Those who care have the love of God within them. He has become more real to them than anything else: “My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God.” (1John 4:7, MSG)
Who are you today? Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hide? Will you be a blessing or a curse to others? This will certainly affect your day!
May you enjoy the constant presence of our Heavenly Father.
(To access the entire “Majestic Mountain View” devotional series, please click here.)