Years ago someone told me if you’re looking for a good proofreader, find someone who enjoys knitting or needlepoint. Typically, people engaged in these hobbies are patient and very detail-oriented, traits important for someone examining written content in search of typos, punctuation and grammar errors, as well as determining whether what they’re reading makes sense.
That’s why no one’s ever approached me about being a professional proofreader. Knitting and needlepoint never appealed to me. Patience? Nope, don’t have much of that. Detail-oriented? Not me. I’m a big-picture kind of person. The Birkman Method motivational assessment I took years ago pegged me as a global thinker, not linear. During my years as a magazine editor, I’d ask my administrative assistant to follow me and catch the things I was about to let fall through the cracks. If it’s true “the devil is in the details,” I’d probably never notice him.
So it intrigued me recently to read God apparently likes knitting. Psalm 139:13 states, “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” What an interesting image – God knitting together a yet-to-be-born person, carefully and intimately addressing every single detail, much like a knitter deciding the placement of each strand of yarn, every loop as it intertwines with the next.
This got me thinking about DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid), the genetic code that dictates our physical and mental makeup. My brown eyes and hair, gender, height, complexion, intellect, limited athletic ability, even predisposition to certain diseases, all were determined for me long before I burst from my mother’s womb into an unsuspecting world.
Despite not being a science expert in even the most generous sense, I’m fascinated by the two anti-parallel strands of DNA we see illustrated as an intricate, double-helix. Our wondrously complex DNA, organized into chromosomes within cells, and RNA, which interprets the genetic coding, determine so much of who we are and what we do. This seems nothing short of amazing.
Today we hear animated discussions about the human genome, the focus of highly talented geneticists seeking to understand the how’s, what’s and why’s of existence at human and other levels. What mysteries and surprises await discovery in the coming years as these microscopic explorations continue?
I’m sure the psalmist had no comprehension of the invisible-to-the-naked-eye, molecular world that captivates so many researchers today. But imagine God as described, lovingly and meticulously “knitting” us in pre-born form, using DNA as His “yarn” of choice.
Whether this is actually the way it works, or whether God created genetic coding as His methodology for assembling one generation after another, is a question we can’t answer. For nonbelievers, the mere suggestion of this sounds ridiculous. Genes, DNA, molecular constructs and everything else – from their perspective – are simply parts of the scientifically interpreted processes that function autonomous of any divine oversight.
They can believe that if they want. That’s their right. But I’ll exercise my own right to attribute and appreciate DNA and the incredible, unique complexity of each human being as the work of a sovereign God, guided by His all-knowing and loving will.
As the next verses in the psalm declare, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body” (Psalm 139:14-16). I find that extremely reassuring and comforting.
Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.