Self-Sustained.

Mission San Juan

The sun warms the ground below me as I lie on the grass and stare into the vast South Texas blue sky. Around me, the stone walls of the ancient mission stand watch, inviting everyone who enters to speak in library-hushed tones. Through each threshold, stories were given birth – stories no longer shared yet somehow still alive in this moment as history speaks through rock and wood.

In the ruins, God directs my attention. Here, surrounded by the past, I see the self-sustaining beauty of the Gospel.

Mission Concepcion

High fortress walls and watchtowers offer protection.

The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9

 

Mission Walls Shelter

Hidden in the shadow of the walls, security is offered for those who dwell within.

How precious is your unfailing love, O God. All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of Your wings. Psalm 36:7

 

In the center of the mission is land for the harvest, and a granary awaits its time to serve.

I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread. Psalm 132:15

 

Convent Walls

Stone paths point to gathering places for caring and for community.

Share each other’s burdens and in this way obey the law of Christ. ~Galatians 6:2

 

Prayer Leaves

And lifted high in the center is the cross. Inside the cathedral, prayers are spoken and candles burn. The past reaches into the modern and ancient becomes this very moment. Though the land around it rests in the pages of history, the cross stands.

Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker, for he is our God. We are the people he watches over, the flock under his care. ~ Psalm 95:6-7

 

In the ruins, God directs my attention to the present – His present for our present. “We are the people He watches over, the flock under His care.” He indeed is the self-sustaining beauty of the Gospel.

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About Ronne Rock

Ronne Rock’s heart finds its strongest beat where beauty and pain collide – because hope always finds us in the shattered places. There’s more than 30 years of marketing and communications experience in her bones, and she finds great joy in sharing leadership wisdom as a regular contributor to Orange Leaders and QARA. But more often than not these days, she's with the vulnerable in difficult places around the world, gathering stories that change stories. Find Ronne's words in "For You, Love" the prayer journal that invites you to respond, and in Everbloom, a collection of stories from the Redbud Writers Guild. She is currently writing, "Building Eden: Principles of a Grace-Filled Leadership that Restores and Redeems." 

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