Unconventional Family Travel
I read an interesting article yesterday about a family of 6 that has been traveling the globe in their vintage car and meeting wonderful, giving people along the way.
But what I found was even more interesting is people's responses to it on Facebook. I was puzzled to see the judgmental comments about how this family works (how do they make money?) and how they rely on the kindness of others to find places to stay and even, at times, food to eat.
Funny how a thousand assumptions can be made from a 2 page article.
If you have traveled anywhere outside the US, you know how unbelievably kind and generous other people are around the world. People who have little to no means are SO loving that they will literally give you their best and feel bad that they didn't have more to give.
The comments I read on Facebook that were most upsetting were those of people who wanted to know if this family was "working" or finding some way to repay the kindness given them by strangers.
The thing about kindness and gifts, as I have known it and believe as Christians, is that they are to be given freely, without any strings attached. Since when does an act of kindness require something in return? And when does my giving someone a gift require them to give me something in return?
Something is deeply wrong in our culture if we can't receive things or acts of love without trying to find a way to "work" and repay the giver.
Several years ago, our family spent a few months out of state, allowing another family to live in our house for a couple weeks. They'd sold their house and still had several days before they had to move and needed somewhere to stay. So they stayed at our house. It was a gift, an act of kindness we wanted to show them and we required nothing in return.
I've read many stories and met other families that have done similar things. Honestly, many of these families would have been offended if we'd tried to repay them for their kindness…yet that is exactly what these Facebook comments were saying.
God gave us the ULTIMATE gift and asked nothing in return, so why do we expect others should have to repay loving acts of welcoming strangers into their homes with work or payment? It is a sad day when we can't be kind to one another without expecting something in return.
Have you had strangers show you kindness in your travels? Or have you had the opportunity to show kindness to strangers?