Scout and I met in the winter of 2015 when I traveled from McMinnville to Portland, completely heartbroken to be leaving McMinnville, to visit what would be my new church and meet with their council. Rose City Park was ready to meet me that winter evening. My soon to be wife at the time and I walked into the building and up the stairs to two chairs set at the end of a U shape in order to ask questions and to answer questions. I glanced around the room as each person introduced themselves. I immediately recognized a few kindreds in the room and quickly started to see who I should be wary of as well.
In the introductions, Scout and I spotted one another and immediately knew we would be friends. Kindreds recognize each other in the world. We both make some snarky remarks that evening even though Scout is southern and her snark comes out in even the most polite ways sometimes. I walked away that night sure that I could do something great in that place.
While that place didn’t work out the way I thought it would, my intuition about who I would connect to and who I probably wouldn’t (although there are always some surprises after first encounters) was pretty accurate. One big wins from serving at Rose City Park was walking away with one of my dearest and best friends in the whole wide world, Scout. I also think that we did some pretty great things at RCP even if for only a short amount of time.
Very soon after I started serving at RCP, Scout and I realized we both loved to try new foods and created the Lunch Bunch…a new restaurant each week for lunch and all could come. We oooed and aaaawwwed over many new places to us in Portland. We can usually find something at a restaurant that we are truly in love with. We expanded to talking about our book finds, our theology and just the neighborhood in general and from the beginning we have found someone to confide in as well as dance with.
Scout also comes with a more than fantastic family, an amazing and courageous wife, two incredible daughters and a collected community around them. They are committed to one another and to the world. Scout feels all the feels and isn’t shy about it and brings that out in others she is around. She is passionate about her role in finding Jesus in the world.
So it was devastating to learn of her breast cancer diagnosis just as I was leaving the country. How could I leave and not be there for my amazing friend? I wanted to go to chemo and fight the fight with her, bolster her bravery while still being able to cry with her as she thought about what was to come. I knew in my being that she had community and could do this without me but could I do this without being present? And while I had to, I hope she knows that I was there all along the way. She was strong going in and we all knew that cancer was just part of her journey, not the whole story but lets be honest, cancer still fucking sucks. One of my first visits home we talked about what life might look like post cancer and in that conversation, Scout lighted up and said, “when I beat this thing, I want to walk the camino and I want you to walk too.” Ana and I looked at each other and promised Scout, yes, when you are free of cancer cells and strong and ready we would walk the camino again.
A year later, the world looks different for Scout. Free of cancer cells, through an arduous journey that still and will always have lasting effects, we met over lunch and agreed…it’s on.
We booked our flights to Biarritz to catch the shuttle to St. Jean yesterday. Our lists of packing are starting to form and I am researching what I need again. I booked the albergue in the middle of the Pyrenees this morning. On Aug. 31st, 2020 the Camino Frances will never be the same as we begin our journey on the Way. Ana and I are so excited and to be honest it is the thing helping me through my melancholy of returning to Berlin this time.
I can’t imagine walking again with any other crew….so start praying for Scout, Ana and me as we prepare and if you want to sponsor us, let me know. This is the time for transformation!