Common human decency.

A Costa Rican stranger who became a friend.

Happy new year, my friend! I am sitting here reflecting on my first fully solo trip to Costa Rica, a country where the natives don’t speak my native language, and I barely speak theirs. One of the things I grew to appreciate is the kindness of strangers during a time when “basic human decency” is often viewed with distrust and assigned ulterior motives.

Strangers helped me with my suitcase. Strangers gave me directions and contacted taxis on my behalf…many offering help without me asking. Strangers stopped to help me despite the language barrier. Strangers gave me tips and recommendations on how to navigate the country. Strangers went out of their way to show me things I’d enjoy. Strangers offered to help me get around. Strangers loaned me items I needed without a second thought. Strangers invited me to dinner in their homes. Strangers vouched for me and introduced me to their peers. I’d have missed out on so many blessings if I had not been open to receiving from God’s hands and feet in the ear.

As I reflect on the kind strangers I met during that eight week period, I ponder one thing: “When did we go from trusting people’s upfront actions to not trusting at all or assigning ulterior motives…especially in interactions with the opposite sex.

Who broke your trust in people? What caused you to question everyone’s motives? What caused you to believe that nobody could be kind just to be kind? They must want something? They must have an ulterior motive?

In 2022, God chastised me about my inability to ask for what I needed and my openess to receive. He told me something that blew my mind, “Chanel, you are a giver. You take pleasure in giving and seeing others light up. Yet, you deny others that same joy. Yet you deny Me the joy of doing that for you. Don’t you know that people are My hands and feet in the earth? I use them to bless you.”

I was shook because I’ve never thought of it from that perspective. My friend, God wants to bless you. God wants to answer you prayers. God wants to give you what you prayed for. You have to be open to receive it in the way that He gets it to you. You have to be open to receiving from people. Yes! Even strangers. My life became so much easier and full of joy and expectation when I accepted that truth from God.

Sometimes people will be kind to you because they are givers like you and it’s common human decency. Or because God sent them to you. Be open and experience the wonder. That my friend is how I ended up riding a horse for the first time in Costa Rica. I half-heartedly expressed a desire and God sent the blessing in the form of a man who owned a horse and spoke not a lick of English. We had to use Google Translate to communicate! But it was such a one-of-a-kind wondrous experience! Wonderful God-incidence – or serendipity as I love to call it!

The flip is also true, sometimes God wants to use you to bless a stranger. But if you never open to strangers, you miss the opportunity to be His hands and feet in the earth. I had so many opportunities to be that for people I didn’t know in a country far from home. God led me to pray for and with others. God led me to spend time with certain people, to be that listening ear and give much needed encouragement and advice. God led me to comfort a widow. That’s how I ended up at a funeral and even a hospital! Because I said “yes” when I felt led to interact with a stranger. They poured into me and I poured into them. Those moments humbled and grew me. Such a blessing to experience such serendipity!

The Point? I assure you there is one… 🙂

Wonderful Serendipitous moments led me to these people and the experiences we had together

Don’t miss the blessings and connections God has for you because you are not open to receiving from strangers or the people around you. When you ask God for things, be prepared to be surprised by how He will get it to you. Most often it will be through other people.

Thank you for stopping by. I would love to hear from you. Has God ever used a stranger to blew your mind? I’d love to hear how. Share your story in the comments section, below. 🙂

If you feel stuck and dissatisfied because you have been wearing a mask all your life and striving to be what everyone expects of you? My new book “In Search of the Pink Flamingo” is perfect for you. I’m blessed to share my journey and give you the keys you can use so the Lord can free you from the weight of everyone’s expectations and give you the confidence to ditch timidity and own your voice. The book is available on all online platforms, and whereever books are solid in your local community (just pop into your local bookstore and ask them to source it). Join the Pink Flamingo Movement here.

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“May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you His favour and give you peace” – Numbers 6: 23-26


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Chañel Robe View All →

As a 2x burnout survivor & former people-pleaser, I am a speaker, author & passionate advocate for serving others while honoring yourself. I’m the owner of The Robe Way & an authority on achieving customer success with less work. I help business owners run profitable, impactful businesses & maintain client relationships without sacrificing personal boundaries or quality of life. On a regular day, you’ll find me traveling, belting out random songs, smiling contagiously, or lifting others up.

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