In Ruins: old and new

309203_2176535584743_1131563830_nIt’s almost 3:00pm here in Altea. It is hot. It is quiet. It tastes of rest.

I love the siesta hours. They are like a deep breath in the middle of the day.

As I type I feel a gentle breeze ease its way through the doors to my terrace. I hear the sounds of Claire, a beautiful young woman from Biola, playing the guitar downstairs. Brianna, just made her way upstairs to pick up her journal and her bible. The bells of the Old Church just rang out and I turn my eyes from the computer screen to the doors opening to the terrace. I see the white of buildings and the deep blue of the water. Even from this distance I can feel the calm of the sea and her waves, constant in motion as though she were rocking the shore to sleep. There is ease here. There is peace. There is good.

I feel the good deep within my heart. I feel peace ease its way through the walls of my heart and I breathe it in.

The past two days have been filled with rich depth of experience and conversation.

This morning Ariana told the story of El Diseno, the home and art gallery she and her family purchased on faith in 2005. As Ariana and her family moved to Spain they were reading the story of Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the wall. They knew they were sent to rebuild the wall here. To be a part of the restorative process in the lives of many. She had no idea that God had given her a vision that was both literal and metaphorical. She and her family purchased El Diseno through a series of miracles. The home is a tower of three rooms, one built on top of the other, much like stacked square legos. And, her home, El Diseno, was built into the old wall of Altea. There are only two segments of the old wall left in this small community and the home which they had purchased, they discovered was actually built into the ruins! They were literally going to be rebuilding the wall, just as God has prompted them. As she talked about her home and the stories of times held within its walls her tone turned to that of one speaking of a great love. She loves her home.

Last year, in June, as Edge Project was underway, Ariana was upstairs in her home when she heard a loud crash that sounded much like an explosion echo through her home. She had no idea what created the loud crash. She made her way down the stairs to discover the ceiling of her precious home had come crashing down. Their home, their love, their miracle was literally falling apart and collapsing. She spoke of this and I could hear her heart ache. The depths of sadness reflect the depth of her love for this three room home in the cross roads of Altea.

The city had built a plaza just above El Diseno and since their building the plaza, water has crept into its walls. Seven years of water rushing directly behind the walls of her home with only sheets of styrofoam to absorb the moisture had taken its toll and was now paying the price. For nearly a year Ariana has sought to resolve the issues of the home, but things do not work here as we are accustomed to in the states. She now has one month for this to be resolved before her case becomes null and void. (If you are the praying kind, please pray for resolution.)

I was struck while she was sharing this story and thought of our collective stories as people. We each carry with us a deep need for restoration. The kind of restoration which occurs from the inside out. We each carry with us a deep need for a true change. This change may come in the form of tearing down the old and building something new in its place. Often, we have to tear down the ruins, to build on a new foundation. This may have to be a part of the story of El Diseno, it has been the truth with me. I know many of us have had a significant breaking or tearing down occur before new can come in its place.

I love this picture Isaiah paints of Jesus.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord
for the display of his splendor.

They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities

I believe that El Diseno will be fully restored. The promise was actually in the purchase. The promise of it being fully restored is a part of its story. The students and I get the honor of being here in the hours of necessary impossible miracles.  These hours invite us to great faith. These hours invite us to prayer. These hours also invite us to dependence upon our Savior, Provider, Sustainer and Hope.

The parallel of the restoration needed in El Diseno and the restoration needed within the walls of my heart, our hearts, does not go unnoticed. Nor does it occur without effect. I believe each of us come to a place of ruin in our lives and there is an invitation found in the ruin. The treasure is found in the rubble. The healing is found in the broken.

As I live into the new, I remember the walls of my heart that have been torn down and I find myself actually thankful for the ruin.

Do you know the ache of ruin? Do you allow yourself to enter the ruin or do you scurry trying to create a quick fix to avoid the pain of destruction? My prayer today is that those of you who read this will know the hope and beauty and healing found within the ruin. Do not be afraid! Do not look back! Do not hold onto the old, but let it go; let it fall through your fingers and allow your trust to reach out to the hands of Jesus and hold on to him. May Jesus be your strong hold and as the foundation on which you’ve built your life crumbles, trust that Jesus will build for you a foundation that is strong and secure. Your hope, my hope, is built on nothing less, but Jesus love and righteousness

Please join us in praying for restoration for each of us here in Spain, for those with whom we come in contact and for El Diseno.

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