Even ruins are beautiful.
We visit them with excitement, we care for them with respect. Entire trips are organized around the idea of visiting specific moments in history reflected by the building or mosaic or wall that remains.
The crumbling walls and weathered foundations give evidence of life, of innovation, of purpose, and of vision from long ago. People walked these paths centuries before. Families played. Entrepreneurs worked. Lovers strolled.
After the zenith of their success decay began to creep in. Warring cities caused relocation. Political realities moved people to other places. Food supply caused workers to seek out greener pastures. Sand blew in and began to cover pathways and structures maintained with care a generation before.
And then, an excited explorer brushes the dirt away from an old structure. Teams converge to research, restore, and reshare what was.
Road signs now point to a national treasure and a venerated landmark. Tour guides direct groups and interpret history. Plaques commemorate historical high-water marks and heroic moments.
A new generation of adventurers visits and explores. They tell stories of what came before and add their own memories and moments to the already rich heritage. A new page is written in the history book. The story goes on.
God takes even ruins and uses them for His glory. In our weakness, He is strong. In our brokenness, He is revealed as Healer.
You are not disqualified from the story God is writing.
Even rocks can cry out in praise to their Creator.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday.
And the LORD will guide you continually
and satisfy your desire in scorched places
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters do not fail.
And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to dwell in.
Does the message that you carry with you feel like a ruin? When you look over your shoulder, do you see a trail of crumbling walls and deteriorating borders? God never wastes pain or suffering or even mistakes, sins, or learning moments. His redemption and grace are not limited to the easy-to-remodel.
God doesn’t rewrite history. He doesn’t whitewash or erase. He doesn’t “fix-and-flip” and then move on to the next profitable job. He does even better than that. He takes the years of decay, of crumbling, of rejection and destruction and, through His power, makes that a part of the grace-filled story. He restores. He remakes. He renews.
Set out a signpost. Restore the wall. Invite others. Tell the story. Even ruins are beautiful.