Santiago- Rest Day
Part of the pilgrim experience is taking our Pilgrim Credential, which we have been getting stamped along the way, to the Pilgrim Office. There they give it the official Santiago stamp, and give us our Compostela, the official “you did it” certificate. Here is the great part. Everyone gets the same certificate. The people who started in Paris and walked twice as far as we did, they get a certificate. The people who biked get the same certificate. The youth group that has walked for 5 days and went less than 70 miles, they get the same certificate.
This feels like grace to me. It reminds me of the story Jesus tells about the workers in the vineyard. The folks who work all day get paid a days wage, but then the folks who worked less get a days wage too. Then it gets worse. The ones who worked half a day, they get a days wage. Then the guys who worked one hour, one measly no-account hour, they get a days wage. That is grace baby. We walked 500 miles and we get a certificate. Others walked 5 days and get the same certificate. Others walked over 1000 miles, same certificate.
Now just like life, if you want to pay 3 euro, you can get a different certificate that says how far you walked. I assume that they had to add that because, truth be told, we don’t like grace. We want something that says I went further than the other folks. I am tougher, stronger, better, I deserve this and those other people don’t.
We want rewards not grace, unless we are the guys showing up at the very end, then a days wage sounds pretty darn great. I think in reality it is more like we need to walk 40 bazillion miles, and none of us ever comes close- and we all get a certificate. Grace is getting what we don’t deserve, and it happens all the time. When we start to pay attention we realize we don’t deserve anywhere near as much as what we get. We also don’t get as much as we deserve, but that is for my mercy sermon. When we can receive grace- we are changed people. In fact I think much of spiritual growth resides in identifying, receiving, and giving thanks for Grace.
Our grace today- at the noon pilgrims mass they pulled out the big swinging incense burner. This is pretty infrequent and we were there- Grace baby!
It’s not over ’till we say it’s over!! More Random thoughts from Laurie…
To market to market… I love going to the open markets in other countries! I love the people watching and the cool different things being sold, and all the amazing bright colors! I have enjoyed markets in Mexico and Italy and Jerusalem and Vietnam…and today I get to add Spain to the list. The Market here happens every day, but our trusty “tour guide” Rick Steves said that Thursdays were best because people come in from the country side. We were not disappointed.
However… the marketplace also can give me pause and make me reconsider my very smart daughter’s position as a vegetarian. The food section of the market in other countries is like a train wreck for me. I know I shouldn’t stare – but I can’t pull my eyes away. Remember how I struggled with Pulpo because although it tasted fine it continued to look like Octopus? Well today’s market was full of things being sold exactly like they are found in nature. Don’t look, unless like me you are drawn to train wrecks! 😝