The day was a good one. Thus far, the evening plans I have are to try and meet up with Nacho and Jaime and hang out for a bit before they have to go to bed for work and I have to go to bed for catching a train to Madrid.
This trip is winding to a close. I must admit to you that it has been good. I have experienced the providence of the Lord Jesus in ways that are beyond explanation. I have participated in lovely communities of faith, and hopefully who I am in the Lord has served as a witness to others in several different countries. Above all I think that it’s been made clear that this trip is much more about the Lord’s purposes in and through me than my own in “coming to Europe.” I was not all about the sort of experience in which one goes to Europe, backpack in tow, and makes out with a variety of girls and “finds oneself.” If anything I set out to have space to pray, to think, to reflect, and to meet new friends in new contexts. It would seem that in so doing I gave God lots of space to work…and work He does.
I now stand on the verge of returning home. On Wednesday I’ll be flying out of Spain and arriving in Seattle. I feel older, not that I don’t laugh at the semi-secret funny word hidden in the word “Bomboneria”…but more that I feel more confident in the Lord and in who He has called me to be. I’m also not feeling the emotional exhaustion that I started this trip with. It feels like I was prepared for coming home in some really wonderful ways, but it also felt like my preparation was the preparation for something beyond my reckoning. Much as the trip became something more than I’d ever really expected or hoped, I think that coming home will be moreso. I hope that this is the case at least.
I was reading my Dietrich Bonhoeffer this morning and he said that hope is something that we cannot separate from our faith. That we must continue to hope in God in current and in eschatological ways. I hope in the Lord’s work in my near future and in the future of all things at the end of time. That said, I don’t know what God has in store for you or me, but it is truly going to be better, more challenging, and more worthwhile than you or I had ever imagined. If you need proof, firstly that’s rather empirical of you, and secondly…read my blog. I have been blessed and blessed to share that blessing with others. No ivory tower of blessings, but rather an overflowing from a full cup (a la Psalm 23). Think Aragorn as King of Gondor as opposed to Saruman as ruler of Isengard. Though, those are perhaps too big of images for me to be compared to. Think smaller, but in the same idea. The man with too many grapes as opposed to the man who jealously guards his cheese. Moving on…
So I woke up today. I woke up at 3am courtesy of the obnoxious girl from the USA’s alarm on her phone which was practically unstoppable in it’s technical fancy-business. I turned it off several times…or so I thought. The despicable piece of machinery kept beeping. I hated it, and for a moment harbored some less than pleasant thoughts about her. Grrr.
When real wake up time happened, I was tuckered out, but whatever. I ate brekky, showered and then figured out how to go to mass. The man at the front desk was both irritable and of no help. When I asked him what time mass was at, he said, “I don’t know. I’m an atheist.” Well, pardon me sir. Next time the atheist conference is in Seattle I will think about spitefully not telling you where it is, but will choose to bless you with useful information instead. My response to him was meant to say “Yo no se a que hora empiezan la misa tampoco.” Or I don’t know what time mass starts either. But it was early, so what I said to this was “Yo tampoco.” Or me either. I then went and figured it out, all the while wondering if I had accidentally conveyed that I was an atheist too. Which I am not. Oh well.
In any case, I made it to the mass at the church next door. It was somewhat not that great to me, but part of that was the fact that when I went up to get my not-Eucharist blessing there was a bit of a misunderstanding and the priest was not very forthcoming with his blessing. He seemed to convey that I had come forward to get Eucharist even though I shouldn’t have it…This was offensive because I was working to avoid that very thing. Then he somewhat begrudgingly blessed me with a hand gesture. I was put out by this and as I returned to my pew, I reminded myself that I would be heading back home soon and would be getting Eucharist soon enough. On Reformation Sunday, I was glad there was a place in the world where I can get the Eucharist even though I’m not Catholic.
After this I came to the hostel and ate lunch. Whilst there I met a woman from the USA whom I invited to go walk around with me, seeing as how that was my plan for the day. She agreed and as a result I had a kind friend to hang out with whilst the sun shone in Sevilla. It was nice to have someone to talk to for longer than an hour in English. I realized that I look much more like a Spaniard than I ever have looked like a Mexican. Example being that people give me strange looks if I wear shorts around town as though they think, “That guy must be cold.” Instead of, “Check out that goofy gringo.” We strolled about, got coffee, and then paid for grumpy service of tapas.
I then came home to the hostel, ate dinner (tuna pasta with redsauce, and some vegetables.), and then proceeded to write this blog.
I got reservations at a hostel in Madrid instead of Couchsurfing, no one seemed to be jumping at the chance to host me, but eventually after this someone said they could host me on the 2nd which is the evening before I leave for the airport at 6am…all things considered I decided that I would just stick it out in the hostel. That way I can leave all my things in one spot, not have to say goodbye to anyone really, and expedite my process in general. Plus the cancellation policy would make me pay for the night I missed anyhow. Blah.
Last night in Sevilla, here I come.