The idea for Contemplative Tours came on a trip to Italy a few years ago. Looking out over Lake Como, Randy spotted a small chapel across the lake on a hillside and said, “I wonder if we could hike to that.”
The next day, we took the ferry across the lake and began to meander through the lakeside village toward the hill with the chapel. Through narrow alleys and small piazzas, we found a path leading upward, and followed it.
Once onto the wooded hillside path, we came across small “stations” with a cross or artistic depiction of a biblical story, accompanied by a Scripture reference (in Latin and Italian). At each station, we would decipher the reference and look it up in our Bible, then discuss what we read, ask God to instruct us and pray as the Holy Spirit led. Randy would ask a question or give some context to the text and we both would respond to God’s Word.
By the time we got to the top of the hill and entered San Martino Griante, we were awestruck by the way the Lord had spoken to us, together, while walking - through His Word, by His Spirit, in and through His creation. We were basking in natural and special revelation!
On the way back down the hill a few hours later, Jane exclaimed, “I wish more people could experience this... It’s like a walking quiet time. We could bring people to places like this! We could encounter God together. We could call it “Contemplative Tours”. And, just like that, a vision was born. And we became pilgrims, ready to go where God leads and willing to shepherd the people God invites along with us.