Francis Schaeffer said we are like Glorious Ruins and Pascal similarly described us as Deposed Kings without a kingdom. This is a powerful image of our condition as members of a noble race who God created to reflect his image and glory to the creation they were set over. Sin has taken its awful toll and this race has fallen, but there is still that image of God in man.
Karey and I thought the ruins of Ani are splendid visuals to remind us of what Schaeffer and Pascal were trying to convey. These churches were once beautiful and filled with prayer and worship, as they were designed for. Look at them and you can sense the tragedy that they represent. There are many ruins similar in beauty and neglect, so the point is not to highlight the churches of Armenia as artifacts. These ruins are not just vestiges of a past glorious pagan civilization, like ancient Rome, Carthage or Babylon, but rather these ruins were once consecrated for worship to the Triune God.