This past week we traveled as a family to St. Augustine, FL for a mini-vacation. St. Augustine is the oldest European-settled city in the lower 48 states, having been founded by the Spanish in 1565. As a bonus, it is only about three hours from Savannah.
It was wonderful to simply spend time together as a family while visiting some interesting places such as Castillo de San Marcos (pictured above), the St. Augustine Lighthouse, Flagler Collge, and of course the beach. We also enjoyed hanging out in our motel room in the evenings while watching the Olympics.
Despite all our fun, one disturbing event keeps coming to mind. Soon after arriving in St. Augustine, we went to Castillo de San Marcos. It is a Spanish-constructed fort from the late 1600's. We had only been inside the fort for a minute when a completely naked man streaked past us with blood running down his forehead. All five of us, along with all the other tourists, stood there in shock. The man, who was yelling loudly, ran across the fort's courtyard and up some steps. He entered an upstairs room and proceeded to jump up and down just behind a window opening. Unfortunately for all involved, everything was visible.
The police soon arrived and, with what sounded like a taser, subdued the streaker. During the arrest the man fell down some steps about 12-15 feet and had to be airlifted to a local hospital. It turns out that prior to entering the fort, the man had crashed his vehicle into a drawbridge about 1/2 mile away. I'm not sure why he chose to run to the fort.
Our guess is that the man was either mentally ill, on some sort of illegal drug, off of medication that he needs, or demon possessed. It could be some combination of the above. Regardless of cause, it is clear that this is a very troubled individual. I certainly hope he gets the help he needs.
The entire episode illustrates what a sin-ravaged world we all live in. I have no idea whether or not the streaking man knows Jesus Christ. However, his actions are the results, one way or another, of sin. This is not how this world was created. Somewhat ironically, Adam and Eve were both naked. However, that was at a time of innocence. Ever since they picked the fruit off the tree sin has been at the heart of rebellious man. Only in a sin-marred world does a man crash a vehicle, tear off his clothes, flee from the police, bare himself to everyone around, and require a taser to be calmed down.
Incidents like this one remind me that things are going to get better one day. Jesus is going to come back to rescue his church. He will restore/renew his creation. At that time it will be easy for us not to sin. We will get to enjoy our king's presence for eternity. I can't wait.
Until that time we have a job to do: make disciples. Although things will get much better some day, for now they are not. Every day we will see the effects of sin on this world. It won't always be as obvious as when a man runs past your family in the buff. However, it will be clear nonetheless.
Let's do our job while enjoying living in Christ. We have hope that sin is not victorious. Christ wins.
"But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:22-23