Ruins of glory

We live among ruins.

More than 12 years ago, James and I went on a cruise. One of the places we visited out of Cancun, Mexico was some Mayan ruins… can’t remember what it was called. When you visit a site of ruins there is intrigue and interest in what the ruins speak of. The old rock formations tell of a people and a time long gone. There was life there once…

I often find myself thinking, “We live among ruins. And glorious ruins at that.” If we could just hear what the ruins of this life speak of. I think we’re too enamored with the beauty and pleasures to be found in the ruins to see that they’re just old rock formations, lifeless, compared to the living glory they at one time displayed, and one day, will once again display.

Today I took my boys to attend the funeral of fallen Phoenix Police Detective John Hobbs.  I didn’t know Detective Hobbs or his family.  But,  because I am the wife of a detective his age, with kids his kids’ age, I felt very compelled to go honor the man and support his family.

It’s amazing how close we can get to truth and yet float right on past it.  I heard John Piper recently say we’re like a rocket in space that comes oh so close to landing on the planet of truth in Christ yet we never actually enter the atmosphere and drift right on by.

Detective Hobbs was apparently a very honorable man and excellent police officer.  He had a reputation as a man who put his family first and apparently he also openly confessed his trust in Christ as his savior.  The pastor of his church said that Hobbs was a man who was turned off by overly “spiritual” people who professed to be Christians yet didn’t walk the walk.   I think that’s probably true of most honest, hard-working men in general.  They want to see the proof in the life not just the church-speak and thus are often resistant to the shallow, club-like American Christianity they are surrounded by.

The pastor also used the opportunity of a funeral to point the audience to Christ.   He mentioned that even as good of a man as Detective Hobbs was, he was still a man who needed a Savior.  He compared what Detective Hobbs did in sacrificing his own life to save the lives of his fellow officers that day, along with protecting the public, to what Christ has done for us.  He said, “Christ came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.  He said, ‘Greater love has no one than this,  than to lay down one’s life for his friends.”

I looked around the audience at a room full of mostly men in police uniforms and prayed, “Oh Lord, don’t let us come so close to the truth of our need for Christ, even looking at ruins of an example of your sacrifice to save us in the death of this officer, and leave here without landing our hearts on our need for Christ too!”

Detective Hobbs life and death was a ruin of glory.  He was a man created in the image of God yet fallen; a man with a God-ordained authority and job that speaks through the ruins of his fallen life of the God-Man who has all authority and who laid down His life to save those who trust in Him.