An interesting man has joined our fellowship and now we are fifteen. A burly bearded fellow came bounding down the hill on our first day out, asking where we were staying that night. At the time we were nonplussed, as the albergue we had planned on was closed “por descanso.” But Cindra, as he announced himself, knew another place just up the road. “It’s only five euros and has a kitchen.” So he just inserted himself, deftly, into our group, although we are obviously Catholic and he is a lapsed Nowegian Lutheran.
He helped prepare dinner and joined us at table like one of the family that night. He sat respectfully as we chanted vespers after dinner, and joined in our conversation about the experiences of the day. He knelt with everyone through the Low Mass yesterday in Tineo, and when I shouted out that it was time to pray grace at dinner he sat bolt upright and piously folded his hands (“he must’ve seen that on Monte Python” someone quipped).
When Cindra announced that he would be with us through to Santiago, everyone clapped and cheered. He is one of the unexpected and delightful gifts God sends at various stages on our pilgrimage to the holy places.