Having walked the Camino binds me to France, Spain, and Germany in a deep way. I have walked on the soil of two of these countries. I have friends who live in these places. The news of this tragic crash is hitting me hard today.
At this writing, Germanwings officials aren’t announcing the fate of their passengers until all family members are reached. The photos of the response site are chilling, though. Scores of ambulances and helicopters sit idle with their teams standing around outside. That’s never a good sign. It looks as if there’s no one to rescue.
Of all the information I’ve heard from reports, the thing that grips me is the class of German school kids returning from a trip to Barcelona. As if this event isn’t a tragedy enough, the loss of young ones is poignant. Lives cut short—all of them.
As I reflect on this loss, I’m thinking of the people I know through the American Pilgrims on the Camino Facebook group who are planning to leave for their pilgrimage soon. As if walking the Camino isn’t an daunting enough prospect, the fear of a crash might seem too much.
If this fear is coming up for you today, I want to tell you that it is worth the risk to live. It is worth the risk of dying to get out there into the uncertain world and allow yourself to be touched by the people and experiences around you. Yes, you could die. Yes, you could be hurt or lose everything you have. But is staying home really the solution? Are you really certain it’s safe to sit on the couch at home with the doors locked? I don’t think it is.
Those kids died, but they were returning from an adventure. They connected with others from another country. They were courageous. They lived every moment they had. Consider living courageously to honor them and their bravery.
Don’t let the fear keep you small. Be big. Live big. Get out there and let the risks you take be your gift to everyone you meet. No doubt, the world will be better for it.
If you’re willing, please join me in lighting a candle and lifting up a prayer for all of those touched by this tragic event. May their friends and family find peace through their grief. May the lost lives inspire you to do what matters most today. Don’t wait for “someday.”