MATH LESSON WITH MR. AL
INTERSECT (Where the Bible Meets Life) is a regular column of ONE Magazine featuring Dr. Garnett Reid, a member of the Bible faculty at Free Will Baptist Bible College. Email Garnett firstname.lastname@example.org
She just couldn’t get it. Eight-year-old Adelaide Delong was having trouble with her math homework. So she decided to ask Mr. Al—her neighbor on Mercer Street there in Princeton—for help. He seemed to know some things about math.
Al was a genial, wizened old gentleman with frizzy white hair surrounding his smiling face like an electric halo. Not only did he help Adelaide with her homework, Al also became known for unofficially tutoring many of the local school children in his home. They would “bribe” him with fudge, and he would share cookies with them.
Adelaide made a wise choice in seeking Mr. Al’s help. You see, years earlier while a 26-year-old second-level patent office clerk, Al had done some remarkable things with math and physics.
In a four-month span, he discovered the quantum theory of light, explained Brownian motion, proved the existence of atoms, and developed arguably the most revolutionary equation in the history of science: energy equals mass times the speed of light squared—e=mc2.
Although he was known to local school children as “Mr. Al,” the rest of the world knew him as Albert Einstein.
Consider these parallels on an infinitely greater scale than Adelaide and Einstein:
For thus says the One who is high and lifted up,
who inhabits eternity,
whose name is Holy:
I dwell in the high and holy place,
and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit,
to revive the spirit of the lowly,
and to revive the heart of the contrite.
One writer says that the entire New Testament is a running commentary on this one verse. Here it is: the Bible’s message, the heart of the great God and the only hope for people captured in a few lines of poetry written 27 centuries ago. The everlasting God, quintessential in righteousness and far beyond our approach, chooses to live with us who are broken, who have hit the ugly rock bottom of our self-centered sin.
Now the high, holy One comes down to give us life. He lives with us to enliven us. This is the chain of grace—“downward mobility,” as some put it—from transcendence to immanence for deliverance. We can’t go where He is, but He can come here, and He has. He does. When He comes to you, welcome Him—not to give you help with math, but to give you life.