Day 4… Pamplona – Puente La Reina
There is a guy that started from St Jean Pied de Port (France) in a wheelchair. I saw him again the morning of the first rain. I’ve seen him several times now. He is a real trooper. The Aggies have been pushing him uphill when they see him on the way.
At times, I keep passing a Brazilian couple. Many times he has been at her feet, carefully removing her shoes and socks, checking her feet, massaging them, taping them and slowly replacing the shoes. Devotion and love.
I figured out what ‘talents’ are in the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14). It came to life today when I realized that God's love for me is the ‘talent’ he gives me. When I pass it along to others, it comes back to me 10 fold. Pour it out.
I had a really hard day. Really hard. I went to breakfast my myself today. I wanted to have my traditional Spanish mollete (bread) with olive oil and tomatoes. That should tell you something right there… I’m missing home.
I left later than the group on purpose today. I’ve been walking at the head of the group, mostly. Today, I wanted to be at the back of the pack. I intentionally wanted to help form behind today, to help the ones who are having trouble, who are walking slower, who need help.
Except, I started having troubles with my feet. Blisters and small cuts. I had to stop and deal with them, clean them and bandage them. They continued to bother me. I spent all day dealing with wrapping my feet, keeping them dry, dealing with wounds.
By mid-afternoon, I was shot. I felt down, really empty. Physically, I am running on no sleep. These big albergues with too many people. Last night, they left the lights on all night. I’m physically spent. Spiritually worn out. Mentally shot. But I didn’t ask anyone else for help.
My devo this morning was Psalm 84:5-7. The questions from that passage for me today were, “Where will you turn to ask for help. What kind of help do you need… emotional, physical, spiritual, relational? Have you lifted your needs up to God? Have you shared your needs with others who can pray for you or help you?” When I read it, I was doing well. But as the day progressed, it became more and more timely.
I arrived at today’s stopping point (Puente La Reina) in a pretty poor frame of mind. I go to the debrief meetings with the Texas A&M group each night. We talked, and some students asked me, “what did you learn today?” All I could say was, “I don’t know. I’m still in a bad place.” All I could do was be honest about where I am right now.
At dinner, I talked with the leaders of the group and with some students. A couple of students stayed afterward to talk. It was a really good time of processing. I still don’t have answers, but it’s not as bad.
I talked to Laurie on the phone and shared with her. She shared with me some things that are going on at home that have not been great. (Read her blog) In a lot of ways, we are both learning the same lessons but in very different ways and in different places.
We both are learning that we need to reach out and learn to rely on others sometimes. We can’t do it all.
It’s a hard lesson to learn. I think it’s just beginning.
So, that’s my day today. It wasn’t very good. It wasn’t fun. But it was what it was. On to tomorrow…