Agés - Burgos (Saturday) 24km
A group of seven of us were walking together today. Cloudy and drizzly rain. We got to just outside of Viaval. We had just climbed a big hill. Going down the hill was really bumpy. A guy came down the hill on a bicycle, bumping and bouncing all over the place. We called out to him, “Is it bumpy?”, joking around with him. He laughed and said it was and yelled out “Buen Camino!” Buen Camino is the greeting along the Camino… it is kind of like Aloha in Hawaii. It means hello and it means good luck and it means have a great day, and we also use it for goodbye. He passes us and keeps going down the hill, till he stops at the bottom and talks to two of our group. He stopped in front of Chris and Melony. I could see him talking and waving his hands and trying to communicate (he’s not North American). He was speaking German, and Chris happens to speak a little German!
Then Chris and Melony turned to talk to Taylor, gave her the paper, and from a distance, it looks like Taylor just won the lottery. She is looking at the paper and she is so excited. Her face is amazing!
When I get down to the others, she shows me the paper and it has her name on it. Written in English, it says that her passport, credit cards, money… everything… are in a town that we had passed through. There is a number for a Spanish cell phone on the note. So Taylor calls the number and a Spanish-speaking lady answers the phone. She can’t understand or talk to the woman, so I take the phone to help translate. The woman asks where we are and we actually have no idea - we are on the Camino in the middle of nowhere. The woman asks me to describe our surroundings. Then she says, “Are you near Viaval?” I said, “Yes, I think so. I think that is the town that we see. We can probably be there in about ten minutes, walking.” So she says to go there and she will drive to that town to meet us.
We had to backtrack a bit and go down to the town. We found a park in town and sat down to wait. In just a few minutes, a woman drives up, jumps out of a van, and hands Taylor her document bag. Everything is in it… passport, Camino credentials, driver’s license, money, credit cards, everything. She had left it in a bathroom when we stopped in town several miles back. A girl from Holland had picked it up, wrote the note in English for Taylor, gave it to a woman in a bakery, who gave it to a German man on a bicycle who was riding the Camino. So, when this guy rode by on his bike, he was looking for someone who might be North Americans. He asked Chris, in German, “Are you North Americans?” And that is how he began to talk to Chris about trying to find a North American girl named Taylor and give her a very important note.
I am amazed that this happened the day after I blogged about my devotional on The Good Samaritan and my question about “How far would you go to help someone else?” A woman from Holland went out of her way to help. A woman in a bakery carried it on. A German man went out of his way to try to find the North Americans and give them a note - a note he couldn’t even read or understand. And a Spanish woman went out of her way to drive several miles to another village and bring it all together and return the bag. A lot of people when out of their way. A lot of people were the Good Samaritan embodied on that day. And the right people speaking the right languages were all in the right places... amazing God thing!