We trust what the Apostle Paul said to the crowd in Athens concerning the God he spoke about, "He is not far from from any of us, for in Him we live and exist." In light of this, we do not think there are places where God is really closer to us.
Could there be places where people find it easier to sense his presence? Our experience at the Cruz de Ferro tells us this is one such "thin place".
The Cruz de Ferro (Cross of Iron) is near the highest spot on the Camino. It is actually a small cross on the top of a tall wooden pole. Tradition says pilgrims should bring a small stone from home, carry it along the Way, and leave it at the foot of this cross. Each person finds their own meaning in this symbol. For us this cross represents the cross of Jesus.
There are two main reasons the cross of Jesus is so important to us. First, it is the place where God chose to say, through Jesus, I am with you in your suffering. Second, it is the place where Jesus would say, to God and for God, "Forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing".
As a representation of these two themes, the Cruz de Ferro is definitely a "thin place", where the earthly and the divine seem closer than normal. The thousands of stones left there tell us other pilgrims feel similarly.
Once again we've had two more days of excellent progress, walking from Astorga to Rabanal on Thursday, and on to Molinaseca today. The trail today was steep and rocky. Very rocky. Our bodies continue to be a little sore in spots, but not too painful.
Our fine refuge in Rabanal.
Ruth places one of the stones she has carried.
A fellow pilgrim contemplates the Cruz de Ferro.
Not the Rocky Mountains, but still beautiful.
As we descend into Molinaseca.