Sitting in Einstein’s Lap

Last week I got the opportunity to spend some time in Washington DC. It had been since I was in high school since I’d been there, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see the National Mall.

On Wednesday morning, before my conference began that afternoon, I took an Uber to the Jefferson Memorial to begin my quick tour. The rest of my family was back in New Mexico, so I had the opportunity to do this quickly, and I planned to see as much stuff in five hours as I could possibly see. It was a beautiful 98 degrees, sunny and humid. UGH! But I would no be dissuaded.

Sight to sight, I walked. Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, White House, World War II, Memorial, Second Division Memorial, Natural History Museum, Air and Space Museum, and Capitol Building. But my favorite memorial, by far, was the Einstein memorial. Have you ever seen it?

Across the street, near the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial, in a garden, sits a statue of Einstein made of bronze that is larger than life. On the papers in his hand are some of his most famous equations. He has that whimsical look to his face that makes him most recognizable, and he’s huge. You can crawl into his lap and feel like a small child.

I love the nature of this memorial. It is not as formal as the others. It feels intimate and welcoming and fun. It reminds me of how much I love science and faith.

Einstein once said “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.”

I wholeheartedly agree.

For a person to study science, there must be a sense of faith to one’s conclusions, for there is still more about this universe that is assumed than what is proven. To study science is to study order and patterns and structure and law. Each of these things show design to our existence. So much of science is beginning to show that there is more to this universe than what we may ever be able to measure and see. This is the spiritual side of existence.

For a person to invest in religion, he or she must have a basis for their beliefs in whatever deity they confess. So many people claim a faith that has no basis other than heredity or feelings. This is blind. To have true faith is not to be blind but to know because of evidence. To know science is not to be at odds with spirituality. They should complement one another.

A definition needs to be clarified, however. Religion and spirituality are not always equal. Many people have taken spirituality out of religion, and their religion is puffed up and based on behaviors and superstitions with no ability to verify things with science. This is not the religion we have been called to, yet so many people function here. This is the kind of religion that turns many people away from Jesus everyday.

Religion can be married to spirituality as a result of spirituality, not to create spirituality. In this case, there is room for questioning and growing and love and grace and mercy and science. To believe in God should be to believe in the laws he has given to govern the universe. We know those laws as science, thus science points us back to the creator who wrote the code of the universe. This should draw us near in a desire to connect with our Creator at a spiritual level.

I believe in God because I see the leaves in the trees and the formation of birds and the anatomy of humans. I believe in God because of the detailed order in his cosmos. I believe in Jesus os LORD because history records a man who defied the laws of science by healing the sick and raising the dead, ultimately breaking the harshest law of existence by raising from his own death, never to die again. This is not blind faith. This faith coincides with my knowledge of science and history. Science and history ratify my faith.

So celebrate science, don’t run from it. Don’t dissuade your children from knowing good science. Don’t be afraid to engage in scientific discussion. Read books; learn things. Then use your knowledge to empower your journey in Christ as a child of God living in a world run by the laws of science He wrote and put in place back in Genesis 1 and 2.


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