One of my favorite sculptures growing up was the Thinking man.
Remember that iconic man in black granite crouched over with his elbow resting on his knee? Of course this is a dramatic different version, but I thought it captured the essence of the thinking man from a little different perspective.
It's not the real thinking man.
The original was caste in 1880 by the acclaimed artist Augustin Rodin.
The idea behind the thinker, actually first named the Poet, was supposed to represent Dante as he sat before the gates of hell and pondered those who were suffering tremendous torment below him in his epic journey to the Inferno.
It's a figurine I've had sitting on my desk since I was in High School representing the importance of contemplation, intelligence, and a deep need for understanding. In my small worldview I think about what it must be like to be able to wrestle through the great divide of human understanding trying to find answer.
Why am I here?
Where have I come from?
Where am I going?
And…Why does it matter?
The great divide comes when we are so complacent to walk through our drone lifestyle we don't take time out to listen to how different people are coping with their own humanity. Some of us get stuck in historical traditions without being able to stand off and think. We're unable to logically look at life and ask, what does this all really mean?
My hope is we can be like Jesus.
We can approach all people groups in a way that affords unconditional compassion, unrelenting care, and above all the love God so wants the world to know.
So what stops us?
Different color skin.
Different ways of worship.
Separate Economic strata.
The illusion some are better than others.
Yesterday I looked over three grave sights. One Jewish. One Christian. One Muslim. It was a stark reminder that no matter how hard we fight in this life, we're all going to face the darkness of death and the inability for meaning to amount to much in this world.
So what really matters?
I'll tell you….
What really matters is how we reflect the creators image to the world, how we truly love Him in mind, heart, soul and strength.
What really matters is how we connect with the God of the Universe who created all things, and how we accept His grace and forgiveness.
What really matters is how we're able to spread that grace to all those in our spheres of influence no matter the divide that separates us.
I'm contemplating this afternoon.
Can we truly reach out to people around us?
Can we become a people who say, " If I speak in the
tongues of men and of angels, but have not
love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy
and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith
that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the
poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing."
In other words…
No matter how religious I think I am.
No matter how many traditions I follow.
If I give to the poor and help make the world a better place.
Even if I have gifts that are unusually spiritual.
If I can't love…then I gain nothing.
May we be a people who understand the importance of love above all else.
May we close the divide.