Ash Wednesday

pilgrim shell and boots


Ash Wednesday
He’s on the road
PUT waiting for me

today we begin
a forty day walk
to Jerusalem

I lace up my shoes
and follow
PUT from a safe distance

but it’s bound to happen
His eyes will catch mine
and I must summon the courage
PUTnot to look away

for in His loving gaze
questions arise

PUTand fears

and we will
carry them all
PUT to Jerusalem


Brian Whelan

 Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. – Luke 9:51


Questions for your Lenten pilgrimage:

  • Where have you seen Jesus on the road?
  • What are you carrying?
Photo of hiking boots and scallop shell on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela from Paulo Coehlo forum. Labelled for reuse.
“Pilgrimage of Sight” by Brian Whelan was featured in explore, a magazine from the Ignatian Centre of Jesuit Education in Santa Clara California. The painting is owned by the vicar of Blythburgh Church in Suffolk, UK. Used here with permission.
“Pilgrimage” by Esther Hizsa from Stories of an Everyday Pilgrim, 2015.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2016
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Lent, Poetry, Stories of an Everyday Pilgrim and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ash Wednesday

  1. Gail Koombes says:

    What is the symbolism of the scallop?


  2. Esther Hizsa says:

    Hi Gail.
    Good question. “The scallop shell is one of the most iconic symbols of the Camino de Santiago (which means “Way of St. James”, a 800 km path from France into Spain to the city of Santiago de Compostela) and today it is used, along with the yellow arrow, to guide pilgrims heading to Santiago de Compostela along its many different routes. Painted on trees, sidewalks, tiles, etc… the scallop shell (or ‘vieira’ in Galician and Spanish) will help travellers find their way.”

    More about the significance of the scallop shell here


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