I take walks almost daily. It was on one of these walks that the words ‘woven’, ‘tapestry’ came to me. I immediately thought of both fabric and DNA strands – something I’ve become more familiar with since discovering I was adopted.
When I got home, I looked up the following definitions:
Fabric – woven or knitted material; the basic structure of something.
Tapestry – a heavy cloth that has designs or pictures woven into it and used for wall hangings, curtains, etc; something made up of different things, people, colors, etc.
Then scriptures of which two stood out:
Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb
Psalm 139:14 I will praise You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful. I know that
Perfect analogy! We are all part of this amazing tapestry called humanity! It runs all throughout time, includes and surpasses our lives, with each person being given a wonderful hope and a future (Psalm 29:11). But rather than make humanity in a cookie-cutter fashion, God expressed His creativity through a multitude of forms, features, skin tones, yet all made in His image.
Looking at a strand of DNA, one can easily see how intricately it is woven. Approximately 24,000 genes account for everything from the way our muscles utilize sugar, whether you are startled by loud noises, your ability to taste certain foods, physical features, et cetera. Dominance also plays a role which is why a person can be 99% something, but if the 1% is dominant, will totally change their appearance. I have a relative who appears to be a beautiful dark complected Black woman, but by DNA haplogroup (basically genetic markers attributed to a particular ancestry) is Polynesian. Which brings me to another point.
There is only one race – human. Everything else is an ethnicity. Within Adam and Eve was the full spectrum of DNA for all mankind. I like to think that part of the joy of having a child then, was parents never knew what they were going to get. Perhaps one child, bronze skin with red hair and blue eyes. Another, fair skinned, brunette, and grey eyes. What we inaccurately call ‘race’ did not happen until Babel, when after having their language confused, families spread out into different areas of the world. And having only their limited gene pool to draw from, gradually created perceivable ethnicities (the ability to look at a person and assume they are of one ethnicity or another). But Babel was the result of sin.
Like the sin of racism in Numbers 12 where God was about to strike Miriam dead for opposing Moses on the grounds his wife was a Cushite. The sin of racism – punishable by death – valuing skin tone over the image of God man was made in.
Or the sin of slavery, for all its atrocities and evils, that regardless of intent, produced descendants. Rape and coercion intended as cheap methods to breed slaves and increase profits, unwittingly combined heritages and histories, made us relatives, accepted or not, and is evident in our genes.
In spite of ourselves, this fabric of humanity as twisted and knotted as it can be, remains. God has blended us closely, knit us together structurally in ways not always pleasant or readily apparent. He has uniquely designed us – His people of many colors, preferences, interests – each thread running, overlapping, creating pictures and connecting lives past, present, and future. Each containing pieces of puzzles, solutions, gifts, and seeds of things yet to come.
What a wonderful tapestry humanity must be to be called God’s Masterpiece!