waving goodbye

It looks like we've arrived at the end of this walk. After climbing over the mountains and walking 41 miles during the next two days, Paul's right ankle became swollen and painful. He's been able to rest it here, but it's probably not a good idea to put any more stress on it for a while. And, thankfully, I happen to have two train tickets from DC to Fredericksburg (given by the Mahoneys for Heather and me when we left them; we only ended up using one of the three). So we'll take the train down tomorrow.

And it does feel like the end. This morning we went to mass with Angela, Nate's fiance, and really loved the worship. The second reading was 2 Corinthians 12.7-10, one of my favorites (I wrote a long essay on it once), with these powerful words:

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

And the service closed with a song I never heard before, "Harvest of Justice," by David Haas. The last stanza was great:
For to have little is to be in abundance.
To give what remains, to give all we have,
Is to walk with the poor ones, and become the stranger,
One with the Lord, the Lord our God.

A fitting close to our walk. But, if that's not enough to make it memorable, as we were walking back to Nate's place, two strangers on a random street in north DC, we hear someone in a passing car shout, "Paul! Paul!" We look. And can't believe our eyes. It's Bill and Sue and the kids, from the Little Flower farm, where we stayed almost a month ago. How did they get on this street? What are they doing in DC, so far from home?

They're waving to us, and smiling.