On The Way To Santiago de Compestela, Spain
By Dorothy Gager
On “the Way”, we toured two World Heritage churches (8 A.D. and 9 A.D) at Oviedo, Spain after which it was time for lunch. We had a picnic lunch with us, so we responded to the invitation of a windy narrow road to drive to the top of the hill.
A huge statue of a victorious and compassionate Christ with outstretched arms welcomed us. I would estimate the size of 100 to 150 feet.
We observed pilgrims finding their way to the foot of this Jesus as we enjoyed lunch. Unaware of other people walking their dogs, taking pictures of the view, and lunching, the pilgrims cast their walking sticks and back packs aside, and reverently dropped to their knees at the foot of the Christ.
I was captured by the beauty of the scene and also of the dedication of the pilgrims on “the Way.” But I noticed that Jerry was engaged in conversation with a gentleman who had joined him at our table. After a bit of lost communication, Jerry realized this man was offering to take a picture of us, and he was insistent.
We complied and the Spanish gentleman carefully placed us at a certain place on the steps below the Christ statue. Then he took my camera and ran down the hill to snap the photo.
Finished! He summoned us to come and see what he had captured. The photo review revealed Jerry and me under the arm of the Christ figure—in Christ’s care. When we looked up from the photo to thank him, he was gone.
Several times in the following days and nights when my peace was threatened by the unknown, by traffic, by heavy rains, by parking challenges, and loss of my GPS, that image came to my mind and I let the challenges go and felt safe and protected.
I thank that gentleman, wherever he is, for the visual reminder that we are under Jesus’ care wherever we are, and that His love crosses language barriers!