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  • Writer's pictureDiem Burden

The camino provides!

Updated: May 11, 2023

I've lost count the amount of times I have heard this phrase from pilgrims who have experienced something special happening on the camino. It is often used to explain the inexplicable, to help stop pondering why something good happened out of nowhere, and just when needed.

A perfect example is my friend Ed. He walked the camino in 2020, just as Covid was talking off. Camping, and walking through knee-deep snow, he was often frightened, cold and hungry. Once morning, having camped in the middle of nowhere, he opened his tent to discover a breakfast tray had been placed there for him, with hot coffee and bread, cheese and ham.


Image of a solitary chair on the Camino de Santiago
Chair provided on the Camino de Santiago (near Torres del Rio)

Camino is the Spanish word for 'way' or 'path'. But let's get real: the camino is just a well-trodden path through Spain. It is forest paths, gravel tracks, road walks, city pavements, etc. It is a non-living thing. The 'thing' cannot provide you with anything, anymore than device you are reading this on can provide you with morning coffee! (If only it could...). There has to be something other, a greater power, at work on the camino.

So how does such magic happen routinely on the camino? Let's look at the Bible, to the Gospel of John specifically, where Jesus stated:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

In Spanish, this is translated as:

"Yo soy el camino y la verdad y la vida. Nadie viene al Padre sino por mí."

"Yo soy el camino..."

I am the camino...

Jesus is the camino..!

So, next time you hear somebody explain away inexplicable goodness along the pilgrimage route, simply claiming that "the camino provides," gently remind them who the camino actually is.

Jesus is the camino.

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