Greetings from Pastor Lee Barstow

July-August, 2022

Dear LCC Community,

 

I am writing from a hotel room in the beautiful city of León, Spain, on a rest day during my pilgrimage with Cynthia. We have walked more than halfway to Santiago de Compostela... 260 miles so far. It is a profound spiritual experience in different ways. Here’s one example:

 

A few days ago, I was ready to quit. After 14 miles, every muscle hurt. I felt injured. Because of the difficulty that day, I had arrived at the hostel late...about 3:30...and I was sure there was no way my body could recover by the morning for our next 14-mile day.

 

In the morning, Cynthia made the attractive suggestion that I take a taxi to the next town. But I was suddenly flooded with trust that I would be okay. I can’t explain it...I just knew. Call it faith. I said, “I don’t want to quit five minutes before the miracle.

 

And the day felt like a miracle. I had the most energy of any day yet, and my pace showed it. I had less pain...more awareness of the beauty...more connection for fellow pilgrims, some of whom have become friends...more gratitude.

 

It was no accident, I think. I had been working hard every day to let go and let God. Not to escape the hardship, but rather to allow it and to seek nurture from the One who is my source and my true substance...God the mystery or whatever you might call her.

 

I have found that in surrendering, nurture comes...sometimes through insight...sometimes through the beauty of a butterfly or a flower...sometimes simply in the feeling of being loved.

 

This walking is an ongoing prayer...a chance to practice the presence of God all day, with every step. St Paul advises us to “Pray without ceasing,” (1Thessalonians 5:17).What a precious gift to discover this is practical advice. When I let myself be a prayer, I know I have what I need.

 

And now I get to practice at a deeper level, after a bad fall the other day. I am okay physically, but my Camino resolve is a bit shaken. After three days of rest and a lighter backpack, we are back on the Way today. Time to seekrenewed faith, step by step.

Peace and blessings,

Lee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. A movie that captures the spirit of the Camino is “The Way,” starring Martin Sheen, available on Netflix.

Photo of Lee and Cynthia,  from Lee's blog on departure day ( https://www.leverettcongregationalchurch.org/about-pilgrim-wonder-1)