Ruby Falls With God’s Glory


My family and I recently went on a vacation during Spring Break to Chattanooga. We felt it was time our five-year old (Levi) experienced the beauty of Ruby Falls. This marks my third time seeing it: once when I was ten, once with my girlfriend 15 years ago (who is now my wife), and now with her and our son. Spoiler alert: It hasn’t changed.

After purchasing our tickets, we boarded the elevator for the trip down in to the belly of Lookout Mountain. We stepped out among the limestone, stalactites and stalagmites and walked a few feet before they stopped us for pictures. You know, the obligatory picture so the tourist company can weasel another $20 out of your wallet? And we fell for it. Then we had to wait for the next elevator group to come down to start our tour. There were a lot of people in our group and this does make it cumbersome to enjoy the cavern when you are rushed through like cattle so that everyone can get a look.

We got to see many wonderful sculptures the earth had formed over who knows how many years. The tour guide was young and funny at times. I actually laughed at some of his geological jokes. Another thing they added to the tour was some audio of Leo Lambert’s journal read aloud as he wrote about what he saw when he first explored the cave. I thought that was very interesting. Most of the named items in the cave were what Leo first named them: the turtle, elephants foot, Ruby’s drapery, leaning tower, chandelier.

They stopped us just feet from the falls and we could hear the water falling while they gave us their expectations of us as we viewed the falls. Then we began to walk in to the enormous cavern where the falls are. It was dark. Then as we slowly made our way to the guard rail the red and blue lights began to come on and the music began to grow louder. We could soon see the falls light up and the soundtrack was majestic.

I stared for sometime then I took our picture as we stood before the falls. It was beautiful. It was amazing. It was so high and what made for more interest was that they have no idea where the falls is coming from. They have tried to trace it back but can not find its source.

We were given eight minutes to view the falls. After we stepped back from taking pictures of the falls, I stood where I could get a full view of the falls. I am not equalling it to the time Isaiah stood before God in Isaiah chapter six but that is what it felt like. The colors shone brightly on the water and the music gave the moment splendor.  The breeze coming off the falls was refreshing. I just stood there and took it in. Something greater than me was allowing itself to be seen. Where it had been in darkness for hundred or thousands of years, God allowed one man to crawl back and find it. Now we all get to see what has been hidden in the mountain for ages.

I can be emotional at times and this was one of those moments where I felt a tear in the corner of my eye. For the first time, I was experiencing more than a water fall. I was experiencing the glory of God through creation. I struggle at finding the words to describe the feelings that can overcome a person when they experience God through his handiwork. This was one of those moments. Man didn’t make this. Man didn’t create this. Man just stumbled on it and illuminated it so we can better see it. This is the work of God and can only be fully appreciated as so. That was exactly what I was doing. I was experiencing the hand of God and for a moment I was speechless.

Unfortunately, they only give you a couple of minutes to view the falls then they rush you out and turn the lights off to hide it for the next group. I felt like I was walking away from God. Now I sit in my recliner typing this and the falls are still there under the ground waiting to be viewed again. Waiting for the lights, the music, the people. I’m reminded of the trail as well. Getting in to the far reaches of the forest to experience the untouched works of God. The steel beams and towering high rises of the city are a wonder at what man can do but the works of God are far more mesmerizing and impressive.

I encourage you to get out-of-town and find where creation yields itself to the glory of God. It is far more beneficial and wonderful.



About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

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