Before we get started today, NEXT MONTH the title of iCare will officially change to The Pilgrimage. This is a better description of where I am in life and what I desire to share with you. We are all on a journey, a path, a pilgrimage. Today's story will assist you in understanding the why behind the title change...

I have traveled a lot for work and, sometimes for pleasure, too. My wife garnishes credit card miles like a wild-eyed person mining for Bitcoin, so we travel for free. Picking up on the vibe that readers enjoy history, culture, travel, and global issues, as well as lessons from my own personal journey and life experiences, we landed on a title change...


The Camino is not well known in the United States, but it is gaining popularity. It is an 800km hike across the Northern part of Spain. Actually, there are varied routes that a person can choose, but they all converge at the ancient cathedral at Santiago de Compostela. During the journey, pilgrims (called peregrinos) pass centuries-old churches and homes and traverse the 2000-year-old Roman Road.

Stunning scenery mingled with salient culture and spiritual renewal.

The Camino began as a Medieval Christian pilgrimage, often called the Way of Saint James. It is believed by some that the body of Saint James is interred in the magnificent Santiago Cathedral. Pilgrims encourage each other along the journey with a variety of warm greetings. "Buen Camino!" and “Ultreia,” which, in Latin, means "keep walking."

My wife and I completed our second Camino in September. We are "all in"—and literally bought the proverbial tee shirt. It was a wonderful time of contemplation, reflection, and intriguing conversations with Europeans from all over the world. It is one of our most meaningful cultural/spiritual experiences.

While there, we would periodically check for postings on a Facebook group for pilgrims on the Portuguese Camino. One evening while trolling through the wealth of stories, the life journey of a guy named Mark became front and center. Let his story rivet your heart to the table.

I never met Mark, but I will never forget him. Mark is from Ireland. He was traveling the Camino all alone. Not because he wanted to, but because the love of his life, Deirdre, had recently died leaving him alone, dazed, and overcome with unrelenting grief.

Mark decided he wanted to celebrate the legacy of his lifelong soulmate, so he carved out a plan that touched thousands of pilgrims traversing the Camino last month.

He began leaving his dear wife's jewelry in conspicuous places along the Camino for pilgrims to find, keep and prayerfully enjoy as their own. A necklace was left on a bench. Precious earrings were left on the altar of a three-century-old church. A bracelet hung on a tree branch. The list goes on and on.
Little sacred memorials were metaphorically erected anywhere he placed her jewelry.

Miniature cenotaphs lovingly and carefully positioned in her memory-- with the hope of extending the celebration of her precious existence in the cosmos—and her legacy.

Touching. Two soulmates forever enmeshed. 

We, too, are peregrinos, pilgrims on a life-long journey. I wonder, what are we leaving behind? As our sons and daughters, friends, neighbors, and co-workers consider our lives, what will they remember? Will they recollect a life lived for others—or a self-absorbed journey mate?

Are we intentionally leaving necklaces of encouragement and non-judgmentalism on benches beside our friends-- nudging them to ultreia--keep walking? Are we purposeful in leaving bracelets of kind words for dispirited overworked servers at the mom-and-pop restaurant who have had their fill of mean-spirited customers? A fat tip would be appreciated too. No, really. A full-sized, over-the-top tip would mean so much to them these days.

Your journey mates are tired. They are fighting battles of which you are unaware. They might be yearning for encouragement to take just one more step, one more fatigued-laden stride.

We all leave a legacy. What will yours be? Do something outrageously generous today. And, if possible, try to do it in His honor. You'll feel inexplicably contented by doing something ridiculously lavish for another human.

For extra credit—email me and tell me what you did or plan to do. I won't tell a soul, and I will not think you are arrogant for telling me. I will assume you are trying to be a better human/disciple/person.

For dual credit, check out Ephesians 4:29. Good stuff.
To respond to any The Pilgrimage devotional, you can e-mail me directly at
Forgotten Children Worldwide | About Us