Mel's Healing Pilgrimage 2016

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Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Unintentions- July 4, 2023

I was thinking about how we don’t realize sometimes that our actions can have effects or consequences far longer than we realize. Then last yesterday’s walk made it really obvious.

First, I was grumpily complaining that they made yet another change to the Camino route on our leg, this time out of Terradillos de Los Templarios. Now it’s by the road.  It’s a lot less picturesque for the sake of shorter distances and shade, and a whole lot noisier. You no longer walk through the sunflower fields but on the edge of them. But given the sunrise hour, we were actually able to take gorgeous photos with the sun shining on them rather than backlighting most of them. It made for much better photos. Both the change and the timing were unexpected pluses as it turns out.

Then when we arrived in San Nicolás, pilgrim Felix started chatting with me. He explained that he was touched quite a lot by Deb, a friend of mine in our group. Moreover, he was surprised and given much hope and much to think about because he saw and heard my husband and I in the convent singalong in Carrion de Los Condes. My husband pointed out that I was his husband during introductions and I mentioned that I was walking as a celebration of ordination. I didn’t fully realize that our transparency would have such an effect on someone sitting in that room.

Later, we walked under thick shade to Bercianos. When I last walked this stretch a decade ago, the sun was mercilessly shining on my head, as the trees were still just saplings. What a joyful relief! The planters certainly were offering shade for future pilgrims, but perhaps they didn’t realize that one day their action gave me such hope.

They did something that didn’t produce results until years later.

Maybe they never saw the results of their actions.

Their actions brought not just relief but also joy.

We may not know how our actions can affect others tomorrow or one day in the future, but if we do them in love, in fellowship, and in compassion, we can unintentionally bring joy. Unintentionally give hope. Unintentionally offer a blessing.

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