August 2 France 2018: “My grace is sufficient for you”

After visiting Vezelay, we had to get to our bed and breakfast in Avallon as fast as possible.

The problem was, as I’ve said, that we couldn’t connect with the hosts by telephone. Nor could we use our GPS to find the way to the B&B.

We took the road to Avallon as a first step. When we reached the city, we stopped at the Casino supermarket, part of a chain that we would encounter later. I waited in the car while Dori inquired inside. She finally found someone who could speak English and who obtained directions from the host.

We were already late, but at least they knew we were on our way. Encouraged, we drove away, confident that we would soon be enjoying a gourmet French dinner.

Alas, the directions proved to be more difficult to follow than had first appeared. The farther we drove, the less it seemed that we were on the right track. We were going out of town, heading south, but with no sight of the road where we were supposed to turn off. It was getting dark, and I was getting really nervous.

Finally, after about thirty minutes of driving back and forth, I pulled off a now-deserted road in the countryside. I was so frustrated that I almost broke down. At the end of my emotional rope, I cried out to God for mercy, while Dori joined me in begging him for wisdom.

We knew that we had wandered far from the right way to our destination, so we just headed back into Avallon.

When we reached the commercial section, we pulled over and parked. Dori went to a nearby café to ask directions, while I prayed.

She returned empty-handed.

Then we remembered that God had sent “angels” to help us at different points in our trip, so we asked him to dispatch another one to us.

Just then, I noticed that we had parked near a pharmacy. Our experience had taught us that pharmacists, who were usually women, spoke good English. We went inside, found the person on duty, who was a pleasant-looking woman, and asked for help.

With the courtesy that we had met with all along our journey, she called the B&B and was given directions by the host, which she translated into English. She drew a map for us to make things clearer. We could not thank her enough, but we did tell her that we considered her an angel sent from God.

Armed with this new information, we made our way outside the town again, but this time we were driving north, not south.  In other words, we had totally misunderstood what Dori had been told at the supermarket, more than an hour before.

Finally, with no trouble at all, we arrived at the B&B Vassy Etaule, an imposing house that was once the headquarters of a brick factory. We parked our car and entered through the back door into a bright, warm kitchen, where we were just as warmly greeted by our hosts.

Apologizing profusely, we were first taken to our room, where we deposited our bags. Then we joined the other guests in the dining room. I think we were by now more than two hours later than our reserved time for dinner.

No matter, our food had not been thrown away, as we had feared, Very graciously the hostess served what seemed like us to be the most delicious repast we had ever tasted.

The other guests heard our story with good humor and made us feel at home among them.

When we finally plopped exhausted into a very comfortable bed, we thanked God for sending us yet another “angel” to lead us to a place of deep rest.