Exodus 12:49 “There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”
“It’s A Small World After All “ is a song that plays at a Disneyland and Disney World ride. Most of us are familiar with it. Life brought to our attention how small the world is before our walk had started. We were surprised at the people whose paths crossed ours.
We landed in Madrid Thursday and spent one night there. Early Friday morning our train left Madrid for a three hour ride to Pamplona. We met Ignacio at the train depot. It is not quite true that everyone speaks English in Europe. We could not find anyone to help translate the train information until Ignacio sat down near us to wait for his train. He heard us ask another man if he spoke English. Ignacio spoke up and said that he spoke a “little”. He also asked if we were walking the Camino. We were truly blessed that morning. Ignacio is from Santiago (our finale destination) but lives in Pamplona. He told us to follow him as we were riding the same train. Our seats were across the isle from his seat.
While we waited to board the train, I turned to look behind us and there were two women with back packs on. Summer and her mom were from Redmond, OR. My daughter in law is from Redmond. They were surprised also to find fellow pilgrims from the same area of the country. They followed us as we followed Ignacio.
We met Kathy as Ignacio, Ron and I were exiting the train. The group of people Kathy was with merged with our group. She had her back pack on. I looked at her and said Camino? She smiled and said yes. She was an another American from Pismo Beach, California. Kathy will be walking the Camino by herself until she meets her sister farther down the path. She followed us as we continued to follow Ignacio.
Our next mode of transportation was the city bus which would have required us to decipher the city bus schedule. We needed to take a bus from Pamplona to St Jean Pied de Port, France. Ignacio smiled and said he would ride to the bus station with us and insisted that he pay for our city bus ride with his bus pass. We were surprised at his willingness to help. In about ten minutes, we arrived at the bus terminal. Ignacio smiled when he told us his home was across the street. We were glad that we had followed Ignacio.
What were the chances that five Americans would meet in a train depot and receive help from the same stranger. What was the chance that the stranger would live across the street from our destination that day?
Ignacio was given a cross.
Our day ended Friday in St. Jean Pied de Port, France. The town is beautiful and very old. The hostel in which we stayed is within the original city walls. The city was established in 716 AD. The pictures above show some of the Citadel’s fortress walls. We will begin our pilgrimage tomorrow. Buen Camino.
(Lesson Learned for the Week—Do not go to the front desk of your hotel in Spain to tell them there is no power in your room. The power for hotel rooms in Spain is activated when one’s room card key is inserted into a card reader.)