I was walking the Aragones route,
I stopped for the night in Sanguesa.
I had broken a small bone in my hand that day and it was very painful.
The hospitalero showed up around dinner time,
stamped our credentials, and took everyone's money.
After a bit, a dusty desert man came into the albergue. He was tanned as leather but clean, and his bright green pants and orange shirt made him look like a circus performer.
When he smiled, his teeth were so white they threatened to blind me!
There was a problem with the hospitalero.
He apparently didn't believe this was a pilgrim
and was refusing to give him a bed.
After a soft-spoken argument, he relented.
No, he wasn't a pilgrim in the normal way,
but he was clean, and weary,
and needed a bed.
And so the homeless desert man was given a space.
The place was not near full, after all.
He was sooooo very lean!
Like leather stretched over bones,
but in a sunburnt, healthy way.
I was eating an orange, some bread and cheese.
The orange was juicy and sweet and I asked if he'd like some?
He nodded and I gave him half
and motioned for him to help himself to bread and cheese.
We both laughed as the juice ran down our chins.
Later that evening I was sitting at the table,
making notes in my journal.
My left hand hurt and I was rubbing it, absentmindedly.
The desert man came in and asked if I was ok?
I said, 'No, I broke it today."
He motioned for me to give the hand to him.
As he took my hand,
the hair on the back of my neck stood up and I got chills all over.
He closed his eyes,
and held my one broken hand between his two tanned hands.
Gently, he squeezed
and I felt something happening.
He didn't rub it.
Didn't massage it.
Just gently but firmly held it with his eyes closed.
We sat in silence.
After maybe 5 minutes, he released my hand.
There were tears in my eyes.
My hand was healed.
It never caused another bit of pain.
I don't know his name.
I don't know who he was or where he was from.
But he was one of my Camino Angels and I wish him Peace always.