Sunday, February 21, 2021

#52 The Kindness of Friends and Strangers

I went for an outing today to another national park with two of my new friends. Today it was to Apollonia National Park on the central coast of Israel. The ruins were at various times an ancient city, a Roman villa and a Crusader fortress. The weather was beautiful and the view of the sea magnificent--a fabulous way to begin a Sunday and a new week.

Yalla! Let's go!

Although I had a delightful time, especially enjoying a take-away burger from Roberta's on some nearby steps, I am super grateful today for the kindness of friends and strangers.

I have acquired a new-to-me vehicle but it sat at school for ages while I was in Africa and working from home in Tel Aviv. When I picked it up last week it had to be jumped to start--then it was fine. But it sat around all week in Tel Aviv and last night around 2 a.m. I realized that it was going to be dead this morning and I might miss the outing to Apollonia. 

As I walked to the car I started praying (one of the things I love about the masks is I can pray out loud and no one can see my lips moving!). I asked God to start the car but, realizing that is a pretty selfish, petty prayer, added, if if doesn't start, please send help quickly! 

Of course it didn't start. Not a click. Now my goal was to get the car back to school (the seller was scheduled to pick it up from there today to make a few adjustments) regardless of whether I could go to the park. From there I could take the train back to Tel Aviv. I stood next to the car texting my friends that I would probably not make it. I noticed a big work truck leaving a space on the opposite side of the street just a little behind me. A brief wave of panic went over me as I failed to ask that guy for help but I managed to calm myself down. 

A guy in a typical Tel Aviv car (read: tiny) pulled into the open parking space. I got brave and basically stalked him as he parked. I asked if he had jumper cables, my car is dead. He had enough English to understand and did, in fact, have jumper cables (which are a staple in any car I've ever had, but I've only driven this one once, not including the test drive)! Within 10 minutes my car was running and I was asking my friends to pick me up from school, which is not on the way to the park. 

A previous version of myself would have just thrown in the towel, driven to school and taken the train back home, scrapping the entire morning. Shame or pride or embarrassment would have prevented me from asking them for help. I don't like the feeling of helplessness and having to rely on other people--perhaps this is one reason why I am still single! But I have learned that sometimes I have to go through discomfort or even pain to live the life I want. This ranges from walking through a ton of fears and terrors to live in another country all the way down to a little humiliation in asking friends to come out of their way to pick me up. These are the times when I really miss living in a family or a relationship. I rarely have to rely on others nor do others get to rely on me. It allows a self-centeredness to grow if I don't keep it in check. This is why I love that I have made friends--hang out friends--since I moved abroad. We see each other and hang out and go and do things. Travelling together forces us to depend on each other and be flexible.

That is what I am grateful for today: trusting in God enough to assume all will be well--that  stranger will come along with jumper cables who is willing to help and that friends will be willing to go out of their way to help me. I know that many people in my life are willing to is me that is still learning to ask. Every time I do I feel better and closer and a sense of belonging. The payoff is definitely worth the discomfort!

Here are some pictures from the outing today.

Waiting for our burgers.

Doing a little work on the train back home.


  1. How fun! Ur buddies look fun. one thing I have learned:. U have to take opportunities when they present themselves b/c there might not be another chance

  2. Absolutely what I have learned, too