Walking such long distances as the Camino demands, it is essential to stop and pause to find inner strength through a café con leche, muy caliente, por favor! The pilgrim finds ability to pause through the many “bars”that appear just around the bend. One brief, wonderful pause can completely change the mood of the long haul that can weary the soul and tire the body. A small, not too obvious “bar,” the name given to these rest stops I call an OASIS, appear, to put a smile on the pilgrim who exhales a sigh of relief. They rarely have a name, just, BAR.
Jesus compares His Kingfom to a tiny mustard seed or a pinch of yeast. It’s the small things in life that truly matter. The Kingdom is like a small “bar” on the Camino that can strengthen and fortify thousands of pilgrims with a cafe con leche and a slice of tortilla. Without these rest stops, the pilgrim could never make it unless the backpack is filled with food and drink for the journey…weighing down the already too heavy pack.
I little bit of yeast helps to create a large loaf; a tiny mustard become a huge bush or tree to give comfort to the birds and shade for the traveler. A little bar on the Camino helps to create a THRONG of humanity, give drink and food to whoever enters. These little establishments embrace any human soul, being places of many cultures, languages and races. These little “bars” provide physical and human nourishment to bind together the pilgrims, transforming them into ONE family, if only for a brief moment in time. The Kingdom is built and strengthened by small, hidden acts of kindness. Small pauses in small “bars” make all the difference in the world.