In 2015, Mark Joseph Peredo was involved in a car accident that left him injured, both physically and emotionally. Meeting with the driver who had wreaked such havoc in his life made Peredo realize that it was not he alone who was suffering.
Luke Hutchins was undergoing an ordeal of his own. Peredo decided to go on a journey of forgiveness with Hutchins, which included walking the Camino de Santiago Trail side by side.
A life-altering course of events
Life was going well for Mark Peredo. That day, he was triumphantly on his way home, having landed a client who could offer his company a lot of business.
While on the freeway, Peredo was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident. A car, traveling on the opposite side of the highway, went out of control. It careened over the median and smashed into the side of Peredo’s vehicle. Peredo regained consciousness in the hospital.
The staff told him that he had facial injuries, and there was damage to his foot that might take up to a year to heal.
Peredo would have to endure surgeries. In emotional and physical pain, he had to try and rebuild his once-promising future. Peredo knew that a huge part of his healing would be forgiving Hutchins.
What he didn’t know about then was the struggles Hutchins was enduring in the wake of the accident.
A need to reach out and help
Luke Hutchins had not escaped the accident unscathed either. A devoted father, Hutchins had not intended to cause Peredo any harm. The accident was caused when Hutchins had a seizure caused by an illness that he didn’t know he had.
He was diagnosed with a cavernous angioma, a condition that would lead to continued and worsening seizures that would eventually lead to his death. He could no longer work or support his family and was facing an uncertain future.
A healing experience
Once Peredo was strong enough, he walked the Camino de Santiago Trail which runs from Spain to France. The 500-mile walk was cathartic for Peredo, who came home with a renewed sense of inner peace and purposefulness.
He knew that he needed to meet with Hutchins in a bid to find forgiveness. Upon hearing about Hutchins’ ordeal, Peredo knew there was only one place they could go: the Camino de Santiago Trail. He hoped the walk would bring Hutchins the healing he needed.
A difficult pilgrimage
Hutchins’ health made the walk very challenging. He struggled to keep up with Peredo. Sometimes, Peredo had to carry his backpack. The pair had to stop for frequent breaks.
But the healing effects the trail Peredo had experienced soon became evident in Hutchins. The two could speak about the accident and its aftermath for them.
They arrived at the end of the trail forever altered by the experience, both stronger for their shared journey. By helping each other, they had helped themselves.