Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Kindness of Strangers

Paying it Forward

   Last night at the Alberge I met a few wonderful people- an Evangelical Scottish protestant woman formerly an English teacher in a school in a Barcelona suburb, who interrogated me for two hours on why I am catholic which had me trying to explain how "this is my body" actually means "this is my body" and "do this in remembrance of me" doesn't negate "this is my body." Like, my actual real (maybe heavenly stem cells) heavenly body. Its all a mystery that one takes on faith but science cannot contradict it.  She took that passage in scripture that says basically take nothing with you...and has been singing busking for her lodging money. I felt compelled to give her any toiletries I had two of. You would have thought I just gave her a diamond when I handed her new deodorant she was so elated she couldn't stop thanking Jesus saying she was praying for that. Then she recounted everything God gave her on the journey which included her hiking boots and sun hat. When she runs out of busking money she sleeps outside which explains her bug bitten arms. One time she had to do it in the rain. Remarkably she is the most cheerful joyful person full of spiritually uplifting songs. She said God is working on her so he can use her in his homeless ministry in Barcelona where there is a massive homeless problem. The sleeping outside bit is building empathy she said. "I use to be such a Princess."
    Today she introduced me to a Mexican couple, one walking slowly with a bright red umbrella to protect from the heat and her husband who is expert at foraging. He climbed a fig tree by the roadside and extricated a few figs and gave us some. He found a tree that had cherry sized plums and filled a plastic bag full of them. My legal mind was going "doesn't someone own that tree?" I thought it would be a great idea for all cities to have fruit trees for foragers, but there is that rat problem in cities. He assured me that it was there for the public to eat if they needed. He climbed deep and high into the tree to get tons of fruit. I didn't want to eat any of those because it clearly looked like it was possibly someone's tree on private property. I would at least want to know if someone was planning on harvesting it for jam or something.
       I took it easy today because I am walking on a swollen (maybe sprained) ankle. I found the "donation" hostel in town which doesn't charge you but has a donation box. That is an amazing beautiful thing. Where is DC's? Thank you Jesus.
     If you are reading this please pray for me to get back into my ten mile a day gallop and that my ankle heals overnight. I am shivering crisp with sunburn.
     My tip of the day is if you get to Barcelona first go to the beach where you will see tons of southeast asian guys selling indian fabrics for beach blankets. Get one for the Camino. It comes in really handy and packs light. Sometimes the pilgrim places don't have bed top sheets.
   Found a Mass in this village at 7:00 pm. I hope I can find the church.

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