Glorious Ruins

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The world has some pretty amazing landmarks.

France has the Eiffel Tower. England the Big Ben. USA the Statue of Liberty. Egypt the Pyramids. Australia the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

And these are (to some degree) the face of each respective country. They are all grand sculptures. Incredible works of architecture, structurally secure, flawless pieces of work. A brilliant showcase of what mankind is capable of.

That’s what makes my hometown pretty unique. There are two things iconic of Port Willunga. A broken down jetty and a shipwreck. Not exactly the height of human achievement.

Quite the opposite.

There is a strange beauty in wreckage that has stood the test of time

The shipwreck involved the deaths of many members aboard the ship. What was made structurally secure came to a horrific ending. Likewise the jetty, once very practical and useful to the area, stands as testament of lost relevance.

And yet, these things have become something of an attraction to our area.

Hundreds of people snorkel out to the shipwreck each summer. A cafe has been named after the ship. Heaps of people get married in front of the jetty remains. Tons of people take photos of the sunset through the jetty, which regularly appears on adverts showcasing the raw beauty South Australia has to offer.

Where am I going with this.

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Perhaps the landmarks reflect us as people.

We go about our lives trying to be this ideal work of art. Presenting ourselves and striving towards this image of greatness. Qualified. Confident. Secure. Flawless.

And there’s no wondering why we do this. Society depicts through magazines and advertisements architecturally flawless people. A people structurally secure in wealth and health. Confident in qualifications and relationships. The pinnacle of mankind.

And when we compare ourselves against perceived perfection, flaws surface.

Personal struggles hit peak activity. Social awkwardness steps up a gear. Feelings of inadequacy hit hard. We fail in subjects at school or university. We are made redundant from work. We lose relationships and friendships with people we care deeply about.

All of a sudden we are comparing The Statue of Liberty against a Shipwreck.

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My Uncle posted this as his profile picture.

At first it seemed a little funny, as this is just a photo of some random old dude. We needed answers. Had Tassie really aged him this much? 

He explained. ‘There is beauty in people and our society too often covers over the faults and lines and damage in order to fit in.’

I love this. It really gets to the heart of what it takes to be a human. As much as we try to put our best foot forward, life happens. Situations in life are often very far from perfect.

Perhaps trying to hide all of our scars isn’t the answer.

Our scars tell a story. 

There’s a strange beauty in the wrinkles and sun-torn skin of a weathered individual.

My Dad once ran our Sunday School lessons. I’m slightly biased, but they were literally the most fun ever. There were two activities we all loved.

The first was the Atomic Fireball challenge. Atomic Fireballs were these extremely hot lollies. Straight out of the middle of the earth those things. The challenge was to try and keep just one in your mouth. It was intense stuff. Especially for an 8-10 year old.

This one time a certain curly haired, boisterous kid by name of Joram put about 5 in his mouth at once. I’ve had a weird sense of respect for him since that day.

Our other favourite activity was sharing our scar stories. How it worked was pretty simple. We would sit in something resembling a circle, and show our scars to the group whilst recounting the accident that created them.

Some of the stories were absolute classics. It was always a funny time. Skateboard accidents. Bike crashes. Running into closed screen doors. What once brought us to tears, we could now laugh about in front of our friends.

You see, the scar stood as testament of the healing process.

‘He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. Beaten so we could be whole. Whipped so we could be healed.’ -Isaiah 53:5

Jesus. Not some photoshopped, money motivated, perverted picture of perfection.

Perfect in every way. 

And knowing our deepest flaws, Jesus was willingly put through a ridiculously excruciating death. Whipped relentlessly, skin ripped from his back, blood loss in extreme proportions. There were scar stories all over his body.

But not just scars that told a story. Scars that rewrite a story. 

Jesus. Who by profession created new things with nail and wood, willingly submitted himself to his own instruments to make us new (2 Corinthians 5:17). And by his resurrection, Jesus proved even the deepest scars of sin cannot overcome God’s kingdom.

Kingdom literally translated is King’s Dominion – just shortened. So because Jesus smashed sin and death to pieces, his dominion extends beyond death. Because Jesus lives, his kingdom endures.

And we are all given full access to His kingdom (Ephesians 2:18-19). Because in Jesus alone we find the way to truth and fullness of life (John 10:10; 14:6).

Now and beyond the grave.

Jesus rose from death with scarred hands and feet. The scars from the cross did not magically vanish, rather they served as witness to his power over death.

By his wounds we are healed.

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‘For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus…’ – Ephesians 2:10

To be a Christ follower is crazy unique.

We don’t claim to be a Statue of Liberty. We don’t claim to be flawless people. We don’t claim to be a showcase of what mankind is capable of. In fact, we boast in the exact opposite (2 Corinthians 12:9).

We don’t claim to be without fault because we simply aren’t.

In fact, maybe you feel like your life has been an absolute shipwreck. Everything is falling into ruins. Your life has become a story of lost relevance, everything now just a shadow of your past.

But in Jesus, we do claim something amazing has been made of our ruins.

We are made new (Ephesians 2:8-10). Not made new in the absence of our wreckage, as if God turns a blind eye to all our issues. Made new in the presence of our wreckage, that stands as testament of our healing. Wear those scars with dignity.

All will marvel at our wreckage that stands the test of time.

Glorious ruins.

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190 thoughts on “Glorious Ruins

    • Jonathan Camac October 11, 2016 / 11:27 am

      Appreciate it Pieter!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac October 11, 2016 / 12:26 pm

      Thanks for your time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Just Bits and Pieces October 11, 2016 / 2:19 pm

    This is absolutely a work to provoke great thought!! I once wrote a paper for college titled; I’m In the Wrong Body, which touched on how the world makes us believe we should look, think, act, and pursue the things of this world. As a Christ follower, it’s difficult to stand against the world that tells us such things, but you my friend, have done so eloquently. Our scars and wrinkles are the storylines of our lives which God has planned carefully so we always walk away knowing something more profound about ourselves, others, the world, or God himself! Well said!! Well said indeed!!

    Liked by 7 people

    • Jonathan Camac October 11, 2016 / 7:52 pm

      Wow what a summary! Absolutely spot on – the wounds may hurt at the time, but the scars will stand as testimony of our healing. Thanks heaps for your time 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    • Jonathan Camac October 11, 2016 / 8:00 pm

      Definitely contrasts our culture! Thanks heaps for your time 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Elizabeth October 11, 2016 / 8:39 pm

    What a wonderful article! “We go about our lives trying to be this ideal work of art. Presenting ourselves and striving towards this image of greatness. Qualified. Confident. Secure. Flawless.” It’s so easy to want everyone to see us as flawless and it takes such courage to show ourselves for the less-than-perfect people we are. Thank you for reminding me that, in the eyes of Jesus I am perfect and through Him I will be.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jonathan Camac October 11, 2016 / 9:20 pm

      Well said Elizabeth! Great summary too. By his wounds we are healed. Stoked you were encouraged by the post 🙂 All glory to God!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac October 12, 2016 / 1:12 am

      Thanks for reading! Hope the rest of your day goes swell 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. cherylann ferg October 13, 2016 / 2:43 am

    Wonderfully written – it goes along with my new blog post from tonight on my site “The Newreinventedme” I love the song Glorious Ruins by the way – amazing

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac October 13, 2016 / 3:07 am

      I will have a look at your post in just a sec 🙂 I didn’t even know the title was a song! haha that’s classic.

      Like

      • Jonathan Camac October 13, 2016 / 12:58 pm

        Just did – not too bad!

        Like

  4. nobody.who.has.Jesus October 13, 2016 / 2:52 am

    I’m blessed by this blog post. Thank you for sharing. Looking forward for more blog posts. God bless! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac October 13, 2016 / 3:08 am

      Pumped you were encouraged in some way man 🙂 You too!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac October 13, 2016 / 10:25 am

      I’ll have a look 🙂

      Like

      • Jonathan Camac October 13, 2016 / 11:05 am

        is that the broken pottery and all that? looks cool! 🙂

        Like

    • Jonathan Camac October 13, 2016 / 10:27 am

      Appreciate your time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. aimmeesephyr October 14, 2016 / 1:45 am

    “There’s a strange beauty in the wrinkles and sun-torn skin of a weathered individual.” That was the best line for me. Wrinkles and scars tell the most wonderful stories of a person’s journey. I love your blog. Thanks for visiting my blog as well. Have a great day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac October 14, 2016 / 1:58 am

      Its so cool hearing the scar stories from those weathered people too. Can learn a lot. No problems, you too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. dtoft October 15, 2016 / 1:06 pm

    A truly wonderful thought. Have a bag myself of said Atomic Fireballs sitting on my kitchen table. You are a man’s man friend. Be Blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac October 15, 2016 / 2:05 pm

      Good lollies hey! Glad you got so much out of it. Hope the rest of your week is good David 🙂

      Like

  7. Anna Waldherr October 16, 2016 / 9:15 pm

    “Scars tell a story.” What a wonderful line. This post has great meaning to those of us in constant search of perfection as a consequence of childhood abuse. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac October 17, 2016 / 4:07 am

      Sorry to hear that Anna. I’ve never experienced anything like that, but it must be extremely difficult. Must hurt a lot. Stay strong ✌🏻 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

      Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac October 19, 2016 / 5:53 am

      Thanks again Cynthia 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. yourttl October 19, 2016 / 2:35 pm

    It takes God’s love to be able to see true beauty, beauty beyond/within the scars. It’s where most of us stumble—trying to ‘love our neighbours AS OURSELVES.’ [Mark 12:30-31] You see, many of us have not yet learned to love ‘self’ and are subsequently unable to truly love others. It’s not malice, or indifference, we are simply trying to speak a language we do not understand. Love is a gift; it cannot be learned or simulated, just received and expressed—first towards the Giver, then self and then others. I’m a glorious ‘relic’ and proud of it! Beautifully written.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jonathan Camac October 19, 2016 / 7:36 pm

      Great reflection yourttl! It sure can be hard to love people we don’t know well, understand, or get along with. Definitely a high calling. Glad you got something out of it 🙂

      Like

  9. pawnshopprophet October 19, 2016 / 4:38 pm

    My brother, this piece was absolutely beautiful. It truly touched my wife and me, and I will be sharing it. It really makes you appreciate the trials the Lord has allowed us to go through, and even more, appreciate the trials He went through for us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac October 19, 2016 / 7:38 pm

      spot on! appreciate it heaps my friend, thanks for your time 🙂

      Like

    • Jonathan Camac October 20, 2016 / 10:45 pm

      Thanks mrteague!

      Like

  10. Brandon October 21, 2016 / 3:03 pm

    I have to say. This was a beautiful piece of writing and it’s something that really resonated within me. Thank you for putting your soul out there and standing as a testament to the power of Christ. I wish you all the best. God Bless.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac October 21, 2016 / 4:16 pm

      Appreciate your kind words Brandon! Hope you are well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. godschildshari October 23, 2016 / 1:20 pm

    I really liked your comment about Jesus’ scars rewriting a story – how true! As for my own scar story, I had endured some health issues which had required surgery leaving a number of large scars across my abdomen. When I re-married, I was really worried that my husband would find my scars ugly. Instead, he told me that he held them precious as they told the story of things that I had gone through and over-come in my life. Gotta love that man!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac October 23, 2016 / 9:28 pm

      Isn’t it awesome when we are accepted for who we are – flaws and all. Your husband sounds like a great guy, need more people like him in the world! Thanks for your time and engagement with this post 🙂

      Like

    • Jonathan Camac October 25, 2016 / 12:50 pm

      Appreciate your time heaps my friend. Our God is just so awesome. Bless you brother!

      Like

  12. a widow's heart October 25, 2016 / 12:49 pm

    Scars that write our story…Yep! That’s exactly what they do. And most if not all scars are unwanted and ugly looking. I’d love to hide mine or make them disappear! But after years of looking for the “right” scar cream, I’ve finally realized that others can learn something from them! Even if it’s just a story or two. It’s who we are.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac October 25, 2016 / 12:55 pm

      Spot on! Trying to hide all my failures is essentially the same as trying to hide my whole life. Things are far from perfect pretty dang often. There’s a reason testimony has a ‘test’ in it I suppose 🙂 thanks for your time and engagement with this blog!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Oceans2c7 October 25, 2016 / 5:57 pm

    So true. You know what?
    No amount of physical beauty will ever be as valuable as a
    beautiful heart. I would like to reblog this too. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac October 25, 2016 / 11:04 pm

      Thanks heaps Oceans2c7! So true. Appreciate your time here 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac October 26, 2016 / 8:34 pm

      Thanks again Kenneth! Glad you got something out of it. Have a good day man 🙂

      Like

    • Jonathan Camac October 27, 2016 / 11:17 am

      Thanks Tahlitha, appreciate your time 🙂

      Like

  14. Liz C. October 27, 2016 / 1:51 pm

    ‘There is beauty in people and our society too often covers over the faults and lines and damage in order to fit in.’

    Dude, I love your Uncle! Haha! Your blog is awesome. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac October 27, 2016 / 9:41 pm

      I love my Uncle too! haha, he’s a legend. Thanks heaps for your time Liz, trust you were encouraged in some way 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Susan Ream October 27, 2016 / 2:19 pm

    Jonathan, powerful writing here sir. “We don’t claim to be without fault because we simply aren’t” Jesus paid it all, all to Him we owe, sin had left a crimson flow, He washed it white as snow. The rap video was also powerful. Thank you for writing for the Kingdom, may these words meet many with the gospel! God bless you! Susan

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac October 27, 2016 / 9:44 pm

      Too right Susan! All glory to God and his awesome message of life for us. May we never lose sight of the importance to this message. Appreciate your time 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  16. willowwrites October 27, 2016 / 2:53 pm

    So true and yet so rarely happens. Your uncle is a wise man.
    I’ve never thought about the fact that Jesus, being a carpenter, was killed on the very same material he built things with. Oh to be more like him!
    thanks for the read on my blog.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jonathan Camac October 27, 2016 / 9:46 pm

      My uncle is a very wise man. Pretty crazy isn’t it. That Jesus would hand us the hammer, and we (in sin) would drive in the lasting blows of justice. Talk about grace. all the best willow 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Esther October 27, 2016 / 11:02 pm

    I liked this post!
    True, in all ramifications

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac October 27, 2016 / 11:08 pm

      Thanks Esther!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Esther October 27, 2016 / 11:09 pm

        You’re Welcome Jon (I like short forms😛😊)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jonathan Camac October 27, 2016 / 11:11 pm

        Joff works well – thats what my friends and fam call me

        Liked by 1 person

      • Esther October 27, 2016 / 11:12 pm

        Joff? Doesn’t sound anything like Jonathan, but it would do😪

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jonathan Camac October 27, 2016 / 11:28 pm

        little kids can never pronounce my name properly, they just say “Joffanan”. It sorta just stuck haha

        Liked by 1 person

      • Esther October 27, 2016 / 11:29 pm

        Lol alright

        Like

  18. Constance A. Buckley October 28, 2016 / 4:30 am

    Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I really liked your blog and the rap song. I want to re-blog it. I didn’t see the link to do it with. Thought of copy and paste but I wasn’t sure it would work. I’m praying people will come to Christ through your words, the photos, the rap and by God’s anointing power. God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac October 28, 2016 / 4:32 am

      Hey Constance! Reblog button should be next to the like button, not far underneath the video. Spread the word! Glad to hear you enjoyed the blog 🙂

      Like

      • Constance A. Buckley October 28, 2016 / 4:36 am

        Thank you. Yes, I enjoyed it very much. Praise God for your talent and thank you for using it for His glory. You are gifted.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jonathan Camac October 28, 2016 / 4:53 am

        There is no true sacrifice to he who everything was graciously given 🙂

        Like

      • Constance A. Buckley October 28, 2016 / 4:39 am

        Embarrassing, but I don’t see the like button or the re-blog button. Just tags under the video at the end of your blog. Comments at the top right of your blog. Hmmm.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jonathan Camac October 28, 2016 / 4:45 am

        Should be jusssstttt above the tags. That’s where it is for me anyway 😄 sorry for the inconvenience with this.

        Like

      • Jonathan Camac October 28, 2016 / 4:55 am

        Oh, I see what youve done. Scroll to the top of the page and click on the title of the blog – Glorious Ruins. Then look for the reblog button again 🙂

        Like

  19. nfelkel October 28, 2016 / 12:05 pm

    “Wear your scars with dignity”. Love that. It’s exactly what I just got done writing about! I wish I had read this first! Would have helped me save some time thinking things through.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac October 28, 2016 / 12:16 pm

      I’ll go have a read of yours 🙂 glad you got so much out of my post through man. God bless!

      Like

      • nfelkel October 28, 2016 / 12:41 pm

        It really is hard to share your scars with the world and truthfully if we all did that more, the world might be better. So thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jonathan Camac October 28, 2016 / 12:50 pm

        It’s definitely something I struggle with doing too. It sure isn’t easy. No problems, have an awesome day man 🙂

        Like

  20. Mrs. Kate Singh October 30, 2016 / 11:59 pm

    Beautiful write up!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac October 31, 2016 / 12:33 am

      Thanks Kate 🙂

      Like

  21. rhondarhoda October 31, 2016 / 3:05 am

    Thank you for visiting my blog and the like for “Don’t just look, say something”. You have a follower. I love what you are doing. I pray for may blessings for you. God Bless!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac October 31, 2016 / 3:20 am

      No problems. Your post actually struck a chord with me. Life is short and we shouldn’t be leaving anything in the tank on any given day. Thanks for sharing that, and also for your time here. All the best 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. nigelcamac October 31, 2016 / 9:15 pm

    Excellent article. Well thought through and clearly written. A lot of meat to chew on

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac October 31, 2016 / 9:26 pm

      Thanks Dad! Although you did inspire a fair chunk of this article. Might have to give you some credit for this one 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  23. RichoHaynes November 1, 2016 / 11:25 am

    Nice work brother. I’ve been meaning to check out your blog for a long time. Just had a quick look tonight and was amazed. There’s a lot of wisdom in your words. It’s great to see God glorified through your thoughts. Keep it up mate. Like your dad said, there’s a lot of meat to chew on. I reckon I might do the scar stories activity at school later this term during devotions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac November 1, 2016 / 12:35 pm

      Thanks heaps Rich!

      Yeah go for it. The scar story activity seemed to work pretty well on us when we were kids. All the best with it for your class 🙂

      Like

    • Jonathan Camac November 3, 2016 / 1:06 am

      that God would hand mankind the hammer, and we in sin would deliver the lasting blows of justice. talk about grace. thanks for your time in reading this 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac November 9, 2016 / 12:39 pm

      Appreciate it delightinwords! 🙂

      Like

    • Jonathan Camac November 9, 2016 / 12:59 pm

      Thanks heaps Lisa 🙂 appreciate you taking the time to read it!

      Like

  24. lemonstojesus November 11, 2016 / 7:53 pm

    I love the way you used the architecture as a metaphor for people! I think it fit splendidly! Great post. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac November 12, 2016 / 4:05 am

      thanks heaps lemonstojesus! appreciate you taking the time to read it 🙂

      Like

  25. Alex November 12, 2016 / 4:15 am

    Very good. I appreciate your insightful thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac November 12, 2016 / 4:25 am

      thanks Alex 🙂 have a good day man!

      Like

  26. Messenger At The Crossroads November 13, 2016 / 12:36 am

    Really enjoyed this, being a relic myself. That portrait is awesome – the kind of thing artists like me look for if we want to do serious portraits. Thanks for your articles. Best to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jonathan Camac November 13, 2016 / 5:52 am

      good to hear Crossroads! feel free to do a portrait of it if you wanted. appreciate your time 🙂

      Like

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