August 9, 2008

Not-so-identical Fingprints

It is pretty easy to identify identical twins because they look so similar - identical in fact! But did you know that identical twins have nearly identical DNA? That's because identical twins are formed when a zygote (fertilized egg) splits after fertilization, forming two embryos. The two identical embryos develop into two completely separate, yet identical individuals.

I imagine it might be difficult to be an identical twin. Growing into your own individual and unique person is hard enough in this culture that promotes "going with the flow." Then add to the mix another person who looks just like you and literally shares your DNA! In this society it is easy to claim the well known cliche' "I'm unique - just like everyone else!"

Sometimes as a Christian I forget about my individuality in Christ. I often feel like there is a Christian mold that I have to fit into to be a good Christ Follower. This week, while I was reading Psalm 139, verses 13-17 really stood out to me: "You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous, and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life is recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable!" I find it amazing that God's thoughts about me are "innumerable!" That literally means that God thinks about me (and you) more times than we can imagine or count. Isn't it amazing to realize that God THINKS about you - as a unique individual?!

Do you know what is really amazing to me about identical twins? Even though they look exactly alike, and have nearly identical DNA - their fingerprints are different! They leave a completely unique imprint wherever and whenever their hands touch something. Isn't God wonderful to use this small detail to remind us of our own individuality and complexity?! We are indeed "fearfully and wonderfully made."

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