Stones at the Foot of a Cross

It is so good to be back!

For those of you who don't know, I've been in Spain for the last 3 weeks walking El Camino De Santiago with one of my best friends Hollyn.  I'm so excited for the Pancake Breakfast on Sunday so that I can spend time with some of my favorite people and share stories from my trip. 

If you don't know much about El Camino De Santiago, its a pilgrimage that began when (supposedly) the remains of James, one of the disciples of Jesus, were found. Since that time, thousands of people have journeyed through Spain to reach the Cathedral in Santiago where St. James' remains are buried.

The trail is littered with churches, crosses, and traditions. One of my favorite was the Cruz De Ferro: 

 An iron cross with thousands and thousands of rocks scattered around the base may seem strange until you know the tradition. Each one of these stones was carried by a pilgrim from his or her home all along the route until this point, each one symbolizing something different to the carrier. 

I brought a stone with me from Tinkers Cliffs in Roanoke for traditions sake. All that morning while I walked I thought about what the rock meant to me. In my journal that night I wrote:

"To me that stone represented the 'what ifs' and 'trying harder'. I want to lay down always trying to control, always trying to work to gain favor. I don't want to fear the 'what ifs' of the future."

When we were at the cross, a middle-aged man named Mike climbed up the pile of rocks to the base of the cross and called me up to help him with something.

In his hand he was holding a ribbon with several names written on it. He told me that when he and his wife were younger they had a baby boy that died in his sleep with he was 7 months old. Three years earlier he had walked the Camino and placed a stone at the cross in memory of his lost son. Now, he returned with a ribbon to tie on the cross with the names of his family, including his deceased baby boy. He also brought another rock from near the boy's grave site.

He explained to me that there are some things in life that you just have to keep laying down at the foot of the cross, over and over again.  

If you were visiting the Cruz De Ferro, what would your rock symbolize? What do you need to lay down at the foot of the cross? 

Looking forward to Sunday,