Life begins with a single cell.
The zygote. A derivative of the Greek word ζυγοῦν, which means “to yoke” or “to join”.
That’s what the scientist called the cell the first time they viewed this first stage of life through their 17th century microscopes. Imagine the impact that single moment was on their lives; being able to understand how a human body, how they themselves, came to exist.
And that single cell multiplies a million times over to become you. And me.
Even now, my head sways on shaky grounds of human-like logic and simple understanding, and a thousand unanswerable questions come to mind.
“Fearfully and wonderfully made,” my dad used to tell me when he’d peer over my shoulder at my anatomy books. Then he would turn back to his coffee and newspaper as I sat in silence, astonished that his curiosity wasn’t piqued further than that simple statement.
I’d nod, swallow the lump in my throat, and try to refocus on the studies before me, the intricacies of a cell and how all the itty-bitty organelles within it worked.
“He doesn’t get it,” I told myself at the time, “He’s past his prime. No sense in learning this stuff at his age.”
But somewhere deep within me, some dark corner where scientist had never discovered, knew my dad was the smart one.
At that time, I didn’t really care if there was a God or not, although I laughed at my professors who were determined to call the unexplainable the handiwork of a higher power. “Why not just say God?” I asked my microbiology teacher one day while cleaning my microscope. “Because I might offend someone, and I personally believe in a higher power, not God,” was her reply.
“You seem like a religious person to me,” I told her.
“Oh, I am! I’ve been teaching this class for 23 years, and not for one second has my amazement dwindled for the handiwork of the higher power.”
“So basically, God. Your amazement comes from God.”
“You could say that,” she replied, “But if you study it out, in every language since the beginning of time, there’s been a different name for God. It doesn’t really matter what you call the higher power, as long as you believe.”
Leaving the classroom, her last words stayed with me.
As long as you believe…
Two weeks later, I sat in the same classroom, using the same microscope. I stained the cells, this time live cells, and placed the blue-stained slide beneath the eye piece.
I watched as cells lived and breathed, miraculously carrying on as if they were following a schedule of sorts. In awe, I marveled as cells divided before my eyes. But most of all, I believed.
“The Designer,” I whispered to myself. “Only The Designer could make this happen.”
And in that moment, I understood the simplicity of my dad’s understanding.
Because he believed, he didn’t need all the answers.
Today, I’m the same way. I recently had the opportunity to go to the Bodies World exhibit at the science museum. As I marveled once again at the handiwork of the Creator, I kept thinking to myself…
“I can’t wait to sit in that grand lecture hall and listen to The Designer… as he explains the unexplainable.”