Light through the Cracks of Brokenness

I am deep in writing my new book on the Camino this afternoon as I am also in the process of packing boxes to move this month. I continually reflect on the changing nature of life for we do live in a dynamic universe and are ourselves dynamic beings inseparable from the one field. I was so touched by this passage and felt that it would be useful and inspirational for you and those you love.

“I sit here leaning on a church older than any you’ll find back home in the United States. I am looking as far as the eye can see. I receive the crimson hills, the green valleys of spring and the ochre tiled roofs. The early evening clouds have a hint of lapis folded unto itself at this time. I watch the light and shadow shift as each blade of grass pregnant with seeds dance in the wind.

Last night I saw an Austrian man having the tantrum of a toddler because his meal did not come sooner as he had wished in the dining area we all shared. Or the wealthy Swiss man who began drinking wine and couldn’t stop till bedtime, driving others away with his drunkenness. He is really needing the Camino, yet he is so lost in the spirit of the bottle. Is it his call for help? The Camino is filled with brokenness. And why shouldn’t it be? “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places,” Ernest Hemingway wrote.

There are so many ways we have been broken: relationship betrayals, company dispersals, dashed hopes and dreams that paralyze us into moving forward, chronic illnesses and self-blame, looming shame preventing us from taking our space and asking our questions. And so it is, this Camino is not any different than what we see in our lives. Why should it be? So how do we meet the different situations in life that bring us pleasure or pain? I have found the moments of lostness to be places of wholeness when I finally surrender into them. Those times in my life when I’ve felt broken became gaps of revelations of light as they came through the cracks of my perceived certainties. The fallacy “if only I prayed enough, or served enough or be whatever enough, then I would be protected from harm, failure, or brokenness” is not true. If the eggshell did not break, the chick would not come out and experience life!”

-from my upcoming book on the Camino: A Mental and Spiritual Journey

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