Mel's Healing Pilgrimage 2016

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Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Peter? - June 19, 2023

 The walk out of Puenta La Reina was misty at first. Lovely agricultural land before we hit the steep hill.

But until the rains came, I walked the morning with Will. He had so much going on that he was processing. He’s on his fourth Camino and he talks with everyone. And despite or maybe because of his mindfulness practices, he remembers so much about us.

For example, in the middle of a field, we are walking side by side when another man with a huge backpack walks towards us with a couple dogs. Will watches him and when he gets to us says “Peter?” The man is stunned. He became guarded and said he was but didn’t know Will. As it turns out they were both at a campsite in 2017 on a prior Camino. Peter was on a prolonged Camino after having left Kyiv because of the war.

This ability to remember stories was powerful to me. When we meet people deeply, we get to know them. And they touch us. Will heard Peter. And Peter denied Will. As Simon Peter realized in denying Christ in fear, we too can deny those who touch us or whom we touch.

My walk in the rain for the rest of the day swirled around the ways we recognize each other. I would rather be recognized by my stories than my looks. I’d rather recognize someone else by the way they embrace their own stories rather than what they own or what they wear. And I pray that I never deny the face of God when they come to me in a lonely field.

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