Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Feeling Hungry on Pilgrimage

I am in the middle of a pilgrimage route. My stomach will soon speak volumes to me with the first little "eek" of hunger pang. I learned on pilgrimage to keep drinking and eating, even if you don't feel the thirst or pang. I drink a lot, and eat more trail mix than I care to think about. I do what I learned on my first long bike ride (1700 miles from Spokane to San Francisco when I was eighteen years old): I eat as much as I want, when I want, however I want, because I am about to burn it off. On my pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela I walked with a group of American women who kept on asking how they were going to keep the weight off that they had lost on the Camino when they got home.

Weight. Hunger. Thirst. Pangs. This is pilgrimage.

I''m working on this upcoming Sunday's sermon, based upon Jesus feeding the five thousand...those folks who were on pilgrimage, following the prophet, the miracle worker, the craftsperson, the learned rabbi from Nazareth. They came and listened to him as he preached in the middle of fields and from the end of boats.

In the middle of it all, Jesus showed hospitality, feeding the 5000 men, along with a few thousand more women and children (Matt.14:21). Having been hungry and thirsty on pilgrimage, I can only imagine the joy that swept the masses.

It is that hungry pang, that thirst, to draw closer to God, that mimics the physical hunger and thirst. And as a result of God knowing of this thirst, the result is amazing: bounty is the answer, provided none other than the God of creation.

Manna. Fish. Bread. Wine. Water.

All part of God, and God's good care of us all.

Buen camino!

Pilgrim peace,

Brett

2 comments:

Jim G said...

I remember that. I wasn't really conscious of it at first. Sure, I was hungry and I ate, but I wasn't aware of it the first couple of days. By then I would eat anything set in front of me, and finish Terre's plate, too. In Ferreiros I ate runny eggs on french fries. They were delicious. The funny thing is, I don't eat runny eggs. Hate'em. I like mine scambled hard. That day I ate them runny and I was happy for it. They were glorious, brilliantly orange eggs.

We are all hungry. I think some of us get so hungry sometimes that we'll eat just about anything. I hope when that happens we get good food. I hope that when I'm there to feed someone, I can give them something that's stick to their ribs. Something that will fill a little of the hunger.

I think God teaches us when we ought to recognize that we are satisfied, but I like to think that God teaches us to be cooks, too.

Just a few thoughts,
Jim G

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