De Colores

Over the past month, our house got a much-needed facelift. At one point, the house was an absolute disaster with furniture heaps and closet “guts” everywhere. Recently, I began putting things back together. While reorganizing a closet, I came across a cardboard box with “Emmaus Walk” written on the side. Opening it, I shuffled through its contents. Fond memories filled my heart as I recalled my Emmaus Walk experience.

Two months after being declared cancer-free, I attended the Living Waters Emmaus Walk #68 on a cool November weekend in 2003. I didn’t know what to expect. All I knew was that my friend/sponsor Sharon said it would be a spiritual experience I would enjoy.

What is a Walk to Emmaus?

An Emmaus Walk is an inspiring weekend event shared with a limited number of participants called pilgrims. Pilgrims are from all denominations. They come together to study, discuss, worship, sing, share communion, and be recipients of God’s grace through prayers and acts of service from a supportive community.

The Gospel of Luke relates the story of Jesus appearing to two friends walking along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). Jesus, who had just risen from the grave, joined them on their walk. Not knowing who He was, the friends shared concerns about recent events surrounding Jesus’s crucifixion. As they walked, Jesus began to explain the Scriptures and how it was ordained that Christ should suffer and enter into His glory. The men became engrossed in Jesus’s teachings and invited Him to stay with them overnight. As they sat down to eat, Jesus took the bread and blessed it, handing them a piece. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him.

The Emmaus Walk offers the same kind of illuminating and heartwarming experience. Fifteen presentations led by lay and clergy center on God’s grace and how that grace comes alive. Pilgrims have an opportunity to internalize and personalize this grace through table group discussions. I was assigned to the Table of Deborah.

The entire weekend is highly structured and designed to strengthen the faith of attendees and, in turn, those with whom they interact. The objective is to inspire, challenge, and equip pilgrims for Christian action.

The term “De Colores” is often associated with the Emmaus Walk. It is a Spanish expression that means “in colors.” The term symbolizes a combination of feelings, like the colors of a rainbow. Each color represents a different emotion; the combination of colors represents the power of unity and diversity.

“De Colores” was originally a Spanish folk song popularized by American folk singer Joan Baez. Because of the religious imagery, the song has been adapted to call forth the joy of Christ in each one of us through our own distinctive color.

Perfect Timing, Powerful Impact

While I believed my friend in saying I would enjoy the experience, I had no idea to what extent. I am positive it had a lot to do with the timing, but I walked away from that weekend with a resounding renewal, adding depth to my already elevated faith.

During the weekend, I experienced many emotions. I cried, having the time to reflect upon the previous eight months leading to this point, realizing God had plans for me. I made new friends, especially from the Table of Deborah, as we shared stories and intimate thoughts. I can honestly say that one of the hardest and longest times of laughter in my life occurred one night while there. I walked away with gold nuggets like:

• “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”
• “The time when you feel the least time to pray is when you should pray the most.”
• “The only mountain top experience you’ll ever need is Mt. Calvary.”
• “Reconciliation does not mean agreement on a situation.”
• “Feelings and faith are opposite because feelings require evidence.”
• “It is a sin not to forgive myself because it keeps me from nurturing Christ since I am nurturing my bitterness.”

Two significant events happened to me that weekend. One was a symbolic and meaningful candlelight service; the other was tangible in the form of letters. I still have every single one of those letters. They rest in a special treasure chest. My once-in-a-lifetime Emmaus Walk was an amazing blessing. Although it happened 20+ years ago, I am convinced God used it to empower me to write my cancer Bible study and beyond.

I leave you with these modified lyrics to the tune of “Edelweiss” that the Table of Deborah created.

Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ,
Every morning you greet me.
Strong and wise, open my eyes,
Help me reach out to others.

Though I suffer and feel alone,
You are still beside me.
Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ,
Let your light shine through me.

Karen Allen


  1. Eddie Burchfield on April 26, 2024 at 11:46 am

    Wow how powerful. And personal. I grabbed a touch of the touch. I love the modified song. I am going to learn this song. Thank you deeply my awesome sister/friend.

    • Karen Allen on April 26, 2024 at 10:53 pm

      I love it! I am honored that you would learn the song. I wrote most of the words. I would love to hear you sing it sometime accompanying yourself on the guitar. Thanks for your comments.

  2. Sharon Atwood on April 26, 2024 at 7:59 pm

    Oh how refreshing to remember my Chrysalis and Emmaus Walk! My grandfather said I was the family Barnabas. I will never forget that. In the candlelight I remember the circle of loving faces and being overwhelmed with emotion.

    • Karen Allen on April 26, 2024 at 10:51 pm

      I’m right there with you. The candlelight was so moving. I felt the love of Jesus wash over me. I’m sure my blog brought back great memories for you. Thank you for being my sponsor.

  3. J.D. Wininger on April 27, 2024 at 5:53 am

    I have never been on an Emmaus Walk, and don’t reckon I will be any time soon, but your retelling of its significance in your life was heartwarming. Have you had the blessing of reading Mrs. Eva Marie Everson’s book, “The Third Path” yet? If not, it’s one I highly recommend. I’ve yet to get through the accompanying workbook but so want to. I was blessed to be selected to participate in her teaching on this premise at last year’s Blue Ridge Christian Writer’s Conference. What a blessing.

    • Karen Allen on May 1, 2024 at 10:46 pm

      Sorry for the delay in my response. I have seen “The Third Path” book but have not read it. I was intrigued by its premise. That certainly would be a blessing to participate in Eva Marie’s teaching of it. I heard her speak about it last year at the Blue Lake Conference. You know, I don’t know if the Emmaus Walk is nationwide or not, but your ranch might be a wonderful site to host such an event.

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Ewe R Blessed Ministries / Karen O. Allen

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