I have been thinking a lot about ruins lately. On the new Hillsong Live CD, the title track is called “Glorious Ruins” and it reminds me so much of where I am right now, both geographically and in my heart.
I’ll walk through the fire
With my head lifted high
And my spirit revived in Your story
And I’ll look to the cross
As my failure is lost
In the light of Your glorious grace
While I am living in Haiti, I am surrounded by ruins.
As I drive around Haiti in any direction I see buildings destroyed by the earthquake. I see half fallen down businesses and empty lots with few bricks left where a home used to be with a family living inside. It’s so hard not to wonder as you drive by, were they inside when it fell? If not, where are they living now? Will they ever be able to afford to rebuild?
All over Haiti you also see buildings that have
walls that are being built up. They have begun the process of rebuilding and it might take them years before it will be complete. Sometimes it’s hard to see the difference between the ones that are half standing from the destruction or half standing from construction. The process looks the same during many stages.It makes me wonder how often we look at people in the place that they are. We look at an unfinished structure and don’t see very far past the damage. Past the destruction and don’t even realize or recognize the amazing rebuilding that is happening.
After the earthquake in Haiti in 2010, they went around and spray painted in 3 different colors on the outside gate of the homes and businesses. Green was to say that the building hasn’t had too much damage and you can enter. Yellow meant that it was damaged but able to be repaired, and Red meant that it was gone or hopeless and too damaged to repair.
Dear Jesus, thank you for not labeling me hopeless or too damaged to repair. I have been through a lot in my short 32 years of being alive. I have been destroyed and ruined by the actions of people that were close to me and some that were not. I have been abandoned and abused and left only to lean on my Savior to repair the damage. It left me jaded and broken trying everyday to hide the look of despair and hopelessness in my appearance, sometimes damaging myself further in the process. Longing for someone to see me for more than the broken bricks and unstable foundation. For someone to look past the destruction and see the potential for a newer stronger structure to be built.
I recently finished reading “Undaunted” by Christine Caine and she explains living a life undaunted by the things that have happened to you or that you have done. About living a life free from those burdens and allowing God to completely rebuild you and make you new again. She says, “Jesus loves us and chooses us and makes us whole, not only for his pleasure but so that we might join him in reaching a world otherwise lost.” He alone has the power and just as I drive around Haiti and see new buildings that have gone up and look beautiful, we can be transformed into a new building, a new life with hope and promises and new memories to be made there. And we won’t be rebuilt into a unstable, unreliable building. We will be rebuilt into a stronger, earthquake-proof structure with a stable foundation that we can add onto and feel comfort in.
Thank you Jesus for rebuilding me into a vessel that can help others. May I never take that for granted or misuse this new structure that you have made me into and may I use the rest of my life to use it for your glory.
This post is dedicated to my parents, Randy and Charlotte Foster, who not only have been the leading hands that God has used during my personal rebuilding process, but are in a literal rebuilding process themselves. They took over a church almost 3 years ago that had burnt down in 2006 and have been on the brave journey of rebuilding. The people in this church have been so faithful to trust God with the provisions on this building and to bring the lost and searching. They are a great testimony of how we need to believe God and His word while giving him control and He will rise us up out of the Ashes and rebuild.