Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Camino Angels

It has been a year since Arlene and I walked the El Camino de Santiago de Compostela (The Way of Saint James) in Northern Spain. Since walking the Camino - we have found nothing that compares to that experience. What we initially thought would be a once in a lifetime event - has taken on a life of its own and even now - a year later - we find ourselves discussing the Camino on a daily basis. For anyone who has shared that experience - for reasons not completely clear - the Camino gets into your blood - becomes a part of your life - the lessons learned - infiltrate our lives constantly. We think a bit different - react a bit different - hope a bit different. One reason that this event has had such a great impact on both of us is because of what we call - Camino Angels - people - out of nowhere - who offered help - assistance - encouragement - at the drop of a hat - freely offering advice - giving directions - solving issues - before being asked. We remember one specific point - having walked about 10 days - when two older ladies appeared out of nowhere - who offered - words of encouragement - sweet candies - well wishes - then disappeared. Many other peregrinos shared similar stories - all happening in that one location. Perhaps it was two old women who had a lot of time on their hands - slowly walking between villages - maybe it was something completely different - don't know - don't care - it happened - and that is all we need to know.

As people of faith - each of us is called to be silent - quiet - mysterious - angels - helping others - without being asked - without being paid - without any expectations. None of us walks this Camino called life - alone.  Everyone has someone - known - unknown - who is waiting there to help. Often we are called to be that person - that angel - who makes the impossible - possible. Just yesterday I had an impulse to help out our local homeless shelter - Hesed House - with the purchase of some travel size soap that I knew they needed. In my search to seek out a supplier - I called a friend - a fellow Knight of Columbus - a real gentlemen who not only gave me the answers I sought - but also arranged the donation of some 45,000 bars of soap - plus 1000 deodorants and shampoo. I never expected that - completely caught off guard - completely impressed - without being asked - arranged that very sizable donation to the needy. Do angels exist - yes - I know one personally.

Deacon Dale 

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