I walked past the copy of Michelangelo’s David every day in the Piazza Signoria when I studied abroad in Florence. And then misguidedly did a daily routine of one hundred double crunches and one hundred pushups when I got back to the apartment because I so badly believed that if I had a body JUST like that it would definitely and FOR SURE secure the promise of true love.
So it greatly disturbed me this week to learn that the real David on display at the Accademia Gallery is in danger of collapsing under its own weight. Over many years, the cantilevered (or contrapposto) pose of the figure has caused growing hairline cracks in the right ankle of the sculpture, thus compromising the entire stability of this masterpiece.
Similarly, ankles are often overlooked in training even though they are one of the most injury prone parts of the body. Weak ankles will greatly disadvantage an athlete the full potential of power and speed.
Such self-inflicted flaws make it clear that only “overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us (because) no power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God.” Romans (8:37-39) It is the great magnitude of an eternal promise that we can truly stand on for all time.
I pull out an old Art History textbook to find David just as youthful, beautiful and strong, still at the moment right before battle and tensely contemplating the arduous task he is about to undertake.
But he now also knows that bad leg or not, whether skinny and pretty or big and beefy, yes, Jesus loves him. With a 2B pencil I lightly draw a heart around my David. Then scribbling over important pink and purple highlighted notes from so long ago, I write it down: little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.