The moment I found to sit and write today’s prompt it was difficult to form thoughts that felt like they might inspire, or provoke thinking in a new way… We all have those days.
This Camino is full of joy, miracles, hard work and community. It takes most of what each of us have to make it from sunrise to sunset, gracefully, or not so gracefully, on the way of St. James.
As I sat down to write this post I asked St. James to help me. He’s the patron saint of the Camino de Santiago, a spiritual pilgrimage and the country of Spain. A moment later I recalled this story.
During a Vespers service, in an ancient chapel, in a tiny hamlet on the Camino a few days ago a priest told us a story. It’s about pilgrims and the miraculous love that is happening all around us.
He pointed out that millions upon millions acts of love go relatively unnoticed each day.
This year he met a couple who had walked from Le Puy, France. That’s about 600 kilometers more than most who will walk the most popular Frances route. The Frances route, which is the route they were walking in addition to Le Puy, is 800 kilometers. That’s a very long way.
The priest went on the explain that the man was blind, and the woman was not. He had walked the whole way with one hand on his walking stick on one on her backpack. She had walked the way always with his hand connected to her, guiding and supporting. Through city streets, up and down rocky hillsides, through long expanses of wheat fields with little shade.
The love between them was so apparent it had become contagious. People flocked around the couple and found peace and joy in their company. So many were inspired by their connection and devotion to each other through what must have been a challenging journey. They were a walking example of love.
In these days when mistrust and divisiveness are talked about nearly endlessly, he said it was healing to be reminded of the intimacy and kindness shared between these two. They stood in love with each other and were willing to take on odds stacked against them to do this thing they believed in.
If they can do it, we can too.
Let’s relentlessly and compassionately stand up for what we believe in.
At the same time, never forget the love that is available and abundant in our world.
Small and repeated acts of kindness, multiplied by millions, can transform the world for the better.
Today, as you walk or after, ask yourself how you experience loving connection each day. Find small (or large if you are so inspired) ways to maximize connection and minimize separation. Tell us what you’ve decided to do.
Let’s all stand in Love.