To you, the children of my heart

Mike and I eat fruit in Rome. Please take note of how awesome it is to be in Europe with friends.

To those who will be coming on the Camino with me (whether you know it or not):

There are three things I want to tell you, but they don’t necessarily segue well, so I’m just going to use numbers.

Point One: Jesus and Mary are pretty intense

There’s this one story in the Bible where Jesus and Mary are at a wedding and the wedding runs out of wine. So, Mary mentions this to Jesus and then instructs the servants to do “Whatever He [Jesus] tells you.”

Jesus tells them to fill large containers with water, which they do. And then, as his first miracle, Jesus changes water into wine. The wedding couple are later told by the unbiased headwaiter, “This is such good wine!”

In my mind, I imagine the couple to be kind of confused because they don’t actually understand what is going on, but they’re also blissfully in love so they’re just happy to be alive and partying. I also imagine that Mary overhears this conversation and smiles a knowing smile.

Gosh I love this story.

Point Two: Camino mom

When I took a group to Europe the last time around, one of the young fellows said to me, “Danielle, when I don’t see you, I start to get nervous. You’re like my mom.”

I laughed and he laughed and we laughed together.

A few days later I left for a few hours to do group-leader things and double-check on tickets and numbers at a subway stop kilometers (Ha! Europe!) away from where we were staying. When I arrived back, I walked towards our accomodations and my group spotted me.

“Daniellllllllllllllllllllllllllllle!” they shouted and they ran towards me like little baby childrens. And we all hugged and I was like, “Guys. I was only gone for a few hours.”

Real talk.

I realized they were right. I am their mom. (For the trip, at least).

Here I am again, then, about to take you lovely people on a pilgrimage that will, quite possibly, change your life.

This astounds me.

Point Three: I’m remotely terrified but also kind of excited

Taken in Rome as well. It’s a picture of Mary and Baby Jesus (the Bambino Gesu! :D) overlooking the streets where we walk. It’s a lovely Italian tradition. And, I must say, they do a pretty good job as there are MANY reasons there should be accidents…and yet, I didn’t spot a single issue.
I don’t know how this is going to work out, friends. I don’t know who is going to end up on the trip. I don’t know how I’ll find food I can eat. I don’t know where we’ll be staying for everything just yet. DID I MENTION I’M NOT EVEN SURE OF EVERYONE WHO WILL BE ATTENDING YET?

But, you know what, I’m also astounded. People I didn’t expect to hear from are responding to the invitation. And, by golly, I’m excited to hear about it.

Do you want to know why?

It’s because I love Jesus and Mary and, in my mind, they’re working behind the scenes just like they do at the Wedding where water-is-turned-to-wine. Mary is pulling strings and Jesus is working miracles.

It’s what they do, ya’ll.

So, let us rest in this knowledge, eh? If you’re one of the folks who will be joining me…I’m excited to have you. I’m praying for you. I’m fasting for you. I’m looking forward to growing with you.

Be excited. Big things are going to happen/ are happening.

And also: we have a Holy Family in heaven who care for us.

Let us run with perserverance.

Buen Camino!
Danielle
P.S. I originally wrote this as a note to those who will be walking the Camino de Santiago with me next summer. But then I published and reread and realized that it could artistically apply to all readers if we see the “Camino” as a metaphor for life or whatever. And then I was like, “Dang.” But I’m also quite tired…so if that’s too far-fetched, just ignore. 😀

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