"Walking in the way and the love of the Lord"
Day 7 ... Los Arcos to Logrono ... 30 kms, 19miles
Today was one of our first full sunny days. Sunny but blessed with lots of clouds and cool breezes. Still it made for a long day into Logrono. Those last few kms are always a killer.Your body is tired and your brain knows it is close. So guess what, the body aches a little more than usual. For me, the most mental part of the day is those last few kms.
So here we were, about 4 kms outside of Logrono. Luca who was walking with us and from Argentina, decided to start calling Albergues to make a reservation because it was getting late in the day. Due to the number of pilgrims on the path nowadays, it doesn't hurt to make a reservation. This is when I learned that some Albergues take reservations.
As we continued walking in the late afternoon with the sun beating down on us at this point, we were all ready for a shower and a bed. We kept hearing Luca say, "Ok, Gracias" each time you could hear the disappointment in his voice. He kept trying one right after another. Only to find out that every Albergue and some of the smaller Hotels were booked for the night. We then realized it was a Saturday, this big town had a lot going on this weekend, and this town had no rooms. After walking for seven days, we had picked up our own little pilgrim family. There were eight of us. Which made it even harder to find a reservation, but you know what? We never thought of splitting up, we were a family and we were going to do this together!
We walked into Logrono with tired feet and a weary heart. We stayed positive and headed to the Church. We all had heard, when there are no beds, go to the church.
I will never forget the moment we knocked on that door. We were tired, hot, sleepy, thirsty, hungry and just wore out. I remember looking at the gentleman when he opened the door, we probably had desperation in our eyes. I believe I even held my hands in a prayerful manner as we asked if they had a bed. He said, "he wasn't sure he had 8 beds, but some could sleep on mats." He then said, "come on in and relax, while we see what we can do" He led us into a room, I think I floated into it.
I didn't care if we had to wait, it was air conditioned with chairs. We sat, took our shoes off and some of us even headed to the showers.
I remember sitting there and saying a short prayer. After about 30 mins, the gentleman came into the room and said he had 6 beds and they could put two of us on mats. We had are own little celebration. Now for the big surprise, the cost. Nothing! Donation only! It also included a community dinner, breakfast and a private prayer service in the church after dinner. It was absolutely perfect, we couldn't ask for more.
We were fed an amazing dinner of Paella. We ate as a family, shared where we were from, and sang a song for prayer "Ultreria"
After dinner, we gathered in the choir seats of the church for our prayer service. They handed out prayers in all different languages. We each took a turn saying a prayer in our own language. This community of the church was overwhelming. To hear all the prayers said in all the different languages, English, Spanish, German, Italian, Korean and even more! It was beautiful.
Tears of joy were definitely streaming down my face and many others!
After prayer it was time to clean up the kitchen and head to bed. We all took turns washing and drying. When one was washing, we formed a massage line. Everyone was getting their shoulders massaged! We all learned who gave the best massages.
Here again, the Camino has reminded me to always trust in Our Lord. He always takes care of us. Jesus, I trust in you!
Even when we didn't think there was a bed for our head, all we could do was walk. Moment by moment, step by step we made our way into Logrono. Praying every step of the way, trusting that all will be well. Not only was it well, it was beautiful.
So let us remember, when its looking like the path is getting difficult.
step by step,
prayer by prayer
trusting in Our Lord.
Our Lord will give us an answer better than we could imagine.
He always makes a rainbow out of a storm!
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox
Saint James, pray for us that we may be willing to leave everything to follow Jesus as you did. Help us to become special friends of Jesus as you were. Amen