I believe within Da Vinci lies an incredible analogy for the Christian life. As Da Vinci acted simply from a desire to understand the world from a mathematical perspective, we who claim to be Christ-followers should act from a desire to know the world from a perspective of love. As Matthew 22:37-39 clearly points out, our role is to: 1) Love God, and 2) Love those around us. It really feels like a simple enough foundation to function from. Yet, it doesn’t feel like we act it out nearly so well as we should – and I put myself at the head of the crowd of self-pleasers rather than lovers.
A great part of it is the American culture of instant self-gratification that we are apart of. Yet, at some point we’re not going to be able to simply point to that as an excuse. Simply throwing 10% into the plate as it comes around may not fully fulfill the foundational concept of loving. The founding of the original church as described in Acts seems a far cry from our world today. It describes a group of people who were wanting for nothing. They cared little for their own possessions and much for the people about them. On the opposite end of this spectrum, we care more about the inanimate objects around us that we label as “ours,” and seem to be ever-so-willing to forget the the people in need that God would label as “His.”
In the world around us, there are over 2 Billion people who live on less than $2 per day. In 2010 925 million people were undernourished. This represents 13% of the world’s population – or 1 out of every 7 people in the world. Even more startling in my mind, is the fact that each year about 5 million children die of starvation. That represents almost half of the childrens’ deaths each year. And what did I do to prevent it? We need to transition from a place of excuses to place of personal ownership of the problem. If this is the condition of the world, what am I – as a Christ-follower, which my charge to love those around me – doing to change it?
Do I, as Da Vinci did with Math, see the world from a stance of love? And if I do, how could I possibly not only be personally challenged by these numbers, but also fervently outraged by them. The time for idle chit-chat and false statements of intent seem hollow in the light of what’s happening around us. And I don’t even have to look to Africa to find someone to love. There are people in my community that are hurting. Not just in the people who live in the highly questionable apartment complex around me, but the people in my town, my church, my school, and even my comfy little coffee shop. How can I possibly be the love to someone thousands of miles away all the while ignoring those struggling closest to me?
1 Corinthians 12:26 tells us that, referring to the body, “if one part suffers, every part suffers with it.” We are all part of one unit. It’s not as if when my foots hurting I sit there and ignore it. Well, I try to, but in reality I’m probably going to do something to take care of the pain. It just makes sense to do that. Why doesn’t it seem to make sense in the world we live in? What works for our body care will also work for the world we live in. Help the person next to you. Love the person next to you, because in reality loving that person is loving yourself. They are part of you, and you are part of them. One body. See the world through the eyes of math; see the world through the eyes of love.