The heat was heavy, and laid like a thick wet blanket as I lifted my tired head to look out of the small open window to see what I could not the night before, when I had first arrived.
The ground was gray and broken. And just across the small yard was a worn down, chipped concrete house that wasn’t much more to look at than the scrawny billy goat that was tied to it.
Yesterday, our church showed a video of one of our missions trips. The video began with one of the team members making this exact observation of their trip. And my mind was drawn to that morning years ago when I had experienced the exact same thing on one of my trips.
Every city street in this world is lined with beautiful, broken buildings, which are filled with beautiful, broken people.
The next song in our worship set was, “Jesus Is Better,” by Austin Stone Worship. The first verse says, “When castles crumble, and breath is fleeting, upon this rock I will stand.”
In that moment, I was really struck with the reality of crumbling castles and fleeting breath. Sure, our new second church campus is beautiful. It’s an old, stain-glass windowed, red brick church set back up on a hill, surrounded by trees, a fire pit, and a nice picnic area. But it’s also broken. The AC unit is as old as the building. The carpet in the hallway is an ugly worn red color. We’re still working out the kinks in our new sound system. As my seven year old astutely pointed out, there is no backstage! And there isn’t even a green room filled with fresh, hot coffee and warm bagels for the volunteers!
Of all Sundays to open up our new campus, it fell on the time change, during a cold snow storm, while we were preaching on sexual immorality. If there was ever a Sunday to feel the weight of fleeting breath, this was it. We were tired, cold, and acutely aware of our common human struggle.
But while our building is beautiful, Jesus is better. While our people are beautiful, Jesus is better.
While our castles crumble, and we feel the weight of fleeting breath, we can stand on the Rock that will never crumble, and that never loses its beauty.
So as you travel through this world and reflect on the beauty and brokenness around you, allow your heart and mind to rest on the beautiful solid Rock, who is far better, and ask Him to help your heart to believe.