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Learning to Simply be Present

May 20, 2018 - Sitting at lunch today, with a woman from Denmark, a young man named Christopher walked in. he is someone my friend Helen, from my last Camino, knows. How random is that?

We met two days ago. I came out of a cafe with a Cafe Con Leche and he and Father Dominique were walking up the street. I recognized the Father by his habit, and the photo Helen had messaged me. As I introduced myself, I could tell he was surprised I knew who he ways. I explained the connection through Helen and suddenly we were connected. We sat down and chatted for 40 minutes. It was a wonderful conversation about why were walking the Camino, our connection through Helen, and faith. When we parted, they informed me they were taking a couple of days to connect with some local nuns and for Christopher to give his knee a rest. I thought it was the last time I would see them.

Back to lunch... So Christopher walks in and I ask him about the third member of their party, whom I had yet to meet. He gives a reply and then heads off to his room. The lady from Denmark turns to me and says, you know so many people. I thought that was an odd observation, since this Camino is totally different than the last. I feel like I have gotten to know far fewer.

Last time, I had a Camino family I was walking in step with. This time it feels much more like I am walking alone. It is not a bad thing, just different. Still, there are these little gems of conversations taking place. There is the lawyer from Brazil who I keep running into. One day it was in a laundry room, one day during the last kilometers of the day, last night it was as he was having dinner, and today, here in the albergue. From the very beginning our conversations have rushed passed the superficial and into the deep. He has been physically hurting. Yesterday, I told him I would pray that he would be able to continue. As I walked, I prayed for him. When I saw him show up st the albergue today, I told him about my prayers for him and he was grateful.

Last night, a young German girl and I struck up a conversation after the albergue celebrated the 70th birthday of one of the pilgrims. We ended up talking for two hours about her education, life, and even faith, though she does not have a belief in God. It was a rich conversation. There have been other similar conversations, deep and good, but not with people I would call a family. I cannot help but wonder what God might be doing in all this, and what it speaks about my life back at home. I sense there is definately a connection.

I am resisting the urge to try and create anything, trusting the Lord will use the circumstance I find my self in for my good, even if they are not living up to any expectations I might have of how things ought to be.

I am content to walk like this. For when something come across my path, when a chance meeting happens, or an unexpected dinner with friends of my friend Helen, I find myself thinking, I wonder what the Father is doing here, and I open myself to simply being present.


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