words

i really enjoy how life is a series of criss-crossing journeys. the things you read, the movies you watch, the people you meet all have a way of gently swaying your path.

yesterday i hit the pause button on my camino and took a train from Gijón to Madrid to meet my friend brian in madrid. he´s over here with work for a week, so what better time to catch up with him as well as see madrid for the first time.

anyway, last night we talked a bit about how much harder it is to love and serve people when it doesn´t seem like you´re living the highly-noble lives of volunteers and charity workers and yada yada yada (you know what i mean). he and his wife are both the amazing adventurous type that i can imagine out in the brush somewhere building a water system for some lost-in-the-woods community who previously drank only disease-infested waters. they´ve both just graduated from school and are instead in the corporate world – much to their chigrin (how the heck do you spell that?). but the beautiful thing is that that world needs people like brian and kate, who radate love and life and who choose to live their lives with a different goal – to serve those around them rather than to accumulate money, things, and connections. it gives me so much hope that they´re in that world instead of out in the bush for right now.

and the conversation helped me develop further a thought that´s been growing in my head. love in another language. when those around you are speaking your language it´s so much easier to pick up on how to encourage, how to serve, how to love. here i spend so much time concentrating on INTERPRETING what they´ve said, that by the time i understand, I´ve missed an opportunity to say what i believe about the subject. it´s been interesting trying to figure out how to love and serve across a language barrier.

words are so incredibly important. i read a wonderful blog this morning by my friend mike. he writes so beautifully and honestly and is forever inspiring me to think long and hard…applying his challenging subjects to my own life. this morning i realized that i can´t afford any more excuses. my time here in spain is short. and my time here in this life is short. and if i waste days pretending that i can´t love as well when i can´t speak the language, then i´m wasting precious precious time fulfilling my only purpose here – to love and learn how to love better.

sometimes all i can do is kindly smile. sometimes to share food or an experience is what it takes to encourage someone. sometimes letting people speak english! i´ve become so dependent on words to connect to people. their power is aboslutely undeniable. i love learning new languages because you have to be SO intentional about the words you use. you don´t waste or say things you don´t mean because it´s too much work to do so! you actually think about what you´re going to say and whether it´s true! but words only go so far. and though it´s a lesson i´ve learned several times in the past, lessons have a way of repeating themselves (because i have a way of forgetting them) and right now i´m re-learning that words aren´t everything. i MUST choose to be intentional about not only my words, but my every movement…so that my entire being is of the disposition of service. whew. somehow i´ve forgotten this most-important goal while being so goal-oriented during this camino and language-learning period.

mike, brian, and many others…thank you for being perfectly in sync to help remind me.

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1 Response to “words”


  1. 1 b&k March 24, 2010 at 10:25 am

    so…
    we have 5 days off next week (for semana santa), what to do? we realized that our visas won’t let us leave the country (we had hoped to get to ireland…) so we’re thinking about taking a few days on the camino?

    what route do you suggest, if we’re only going to have 5 days – maybe a little less with getting out of and back to madrid?


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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

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