Why I Enjoy Walking Through Ruins


While I was living in Guatemala, I developed a fascination for ruins. They provided a lovely, peaceful hideaway from the psychological chaos that I was normally drowning in: my desire and inability to fix people’s destitute situations, the unpredictability of every day, vendors yelling at me or chasing me down the streets, lewd comments from men, the threat of illness and accidents, and story after story of my friends being victimized by bandits. (When I say “bandits,” I mean the kind that literally cover their faces and show up at your door or force you out of your car with guns.)

As I entered these ruins, I could finally take a breath. These walls that remained had been standing for centuries, and they provided a barrier from the sadness, the unpredictability, the aggressiveness, the illness, and the danger that lurked outside.

When we went back to Guatemala six months ago, I revisited some of those ruins. My favorite ones were old churches and monasteries. Throughout my spiritual journey, I’ve looked for ways to increase my faith and to understand the true meaning of Christianity. As I’ve walked through places that were once dedicated to prayer and spiritual reflection, I’ve felt inspired to pray and reflect on God as well. During those silent moments, I’ve been able to focus on positive things in my life and express gratitude for blessings that I’ve taken for granted.

These buildings have survived centuries of earthquakes, fires, and wars. And, as I walk through them, I’m captivated by the beauty that remains. They are like human beings: they have survived one tragedy after another, and some parts of themselves will never be recovered. But despite the devastation, their inner strength survives. And what remains is an intricately beautiful and inspiring story of redemption.

7 thoughts on “Why I Enjoy Walking Through Ruins

  1. Lovely article Rachel.. I posted it on my fb page. I have been reflecting on beauty for ashes….how our God does that in lives, our lives, and the lives of those we love and as healers long to be a part of bringing His healing too! Keep writing!

  2. Art is entertaining and also educative if given
    full attention.The following two songs by by R Kelly
    keep me listening to every word in that they are not only entertaining,but
    also energizing.
    These songs are:
    (a)Rise Up
    (b)The world’s greatest.
    I consider the first one as a relief for those facing
    difficult moments.The song gives me hope that no matter the situation,
    one is capable of “raising again”. It also gives assurance that no
    situation is permanent.The symbol of candle used in this song may portray
    the power of light over darkness.We all face dark moments in life
    but we are assured of strength and victory if we persevere and keep our “inner candles” burning.

    For those who are conversant with the second song can bear me witness that it
    begins with the phrase “I am” and ends with the word “Hero”. I was thinking
    of how the song would sound if the phrase “I am” was replaced with “I was” or “I will”.
    Such three phrases “I am”,”I was” and “I will” may have an impact on one’s accomplishment
    depending on how they are applied.Dwelling on past so much by saying “I was” may interfere with
    one’s vision and focus whereas the term “I will” may lead to procrastination of events leading to delay or failure.The phrase “I am” shows completeness in that it portrays confidence.
    The phrase may also refer to one’s uniqueness and talents.Even if a performer may
    be halfway,believing in the phrase is likely to speed up the achievement process.

    Some moments bring merry,whereas others
    leave us bruised,drained,dented and in need of venting.”Rising up”
    whenever things get tough and understanding that we are “The world’s greatest”
    might be requirements of becoming a “Hero” no matter how “ruined” we are.

    Congrats R.Kelly,songs well written.

  3. I’m glad you’ve found some uplifting songs to give you inspiration. I agree, song lyrics have provided so much hope for people. I’m grateful for the songs that have helped me to look beyond discouragement and pain.

  4. rachel, yes it seems we do. it is indeed fascinating to think about where it came from?! little pieces of history.. it is amazing! anyhow, those hours are very magical!

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