Disability, My Camino, October 2018

Palas de Rey to Melide, 7 October 2018

Be humble and receive with a childlike attitude.

Today is Sunday and before we leave Palas de Rey we decide to go to church. I come in at the side door and only hear the last part of the sermon. I am happy and surprised that the sermon is in English! The take-away message for me is “be humble and receive like a child.”

“Jesus loves you” says a sign over a bridge. We all see it. I think of it as a gift and I feel thankful.

Later at our coffee break I see a T- shirt saying “humility” and Pope Francis. I am curious what he has to say and I look it up: “God’s work is done in simplicity and humility through us.” Our ego has to get out of the way for God’s will to be done. It’s the little things that count.

We see two pilgrims with a donkey called Salomé that carries their luggage. I feel sorry for her, but she seems to be content. They do not travel too far in one day and she was braying after them when they left her in the paddock for the night.

We also see a group of visibly disabled people with their helpers walking the Camino. They are all wearing red caps, so to easily identify them.

They seem to be happy and upbeat, despite their difficulties. They make regular stops and have a bus on stand-by. Frequently we hear them singing.

It makes me think about all the things I can be thankful for. Things that I just take for granted. There are so many people affected by a disability. It can happen to anybody and families have to adapt to their unique circumstances. It is a humbling thought.

A smile, a greeting and a bit of patience can make such a difference to anybody’s day. Disabled people are no different.

When we arrive in Melide I see a group of four helpers that use a bicycle/wheelchair contraption to move a blind and lame man. Where there is a will there is a way…

Give and take. We can be the humble helpers and sometimes we are the ones who have to receive help with childlike acceptance.

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