The human body is an amazing “blanket”. It is made up of 12 “systems” that work together in order for us to live from day to day. There are also 5 essential organs which we need for survival: the brain, heart, kidneys, liver and lungs. Our bodily systems and organs are interesting enough but scientists have also determined several amazing facts about the human body as well: there are nearly 100 TRILLION cells in our body, we have almost 10 times the amount of bacteria in our body as we do cells, and the human brain contains about 100 BILLION nerve cells to name a few. When all this amazing information is taken into account it’s no wonder the psalmist exclaimed to the “Blanket Maker”, “I will give thanks to You for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps. 139:14).
I usually find myself concurring with the psalmist when I think about the components that make up humans. Psalm 139 is perhaps the most quoted Scripture when it comes to the amazing human body with its immaterial center. The psalmist proclaims the Lord has “formed” his “inward parts” in verse 13. He declares that the Lord wove him together in his mother’s womb. The image of Suzi’s crocheted blanket fits well here. Like Suzi and her expert handling of those slender needles and yarn, the Lord has interlocked the very fibers of a person’s being in the safe and sacred place of a mother’s womb (Jb. 10:8, 11). The Psalmist also declares that the Lord’s approach to the creation of the innermost part of a person is one of reverence (v.14) by proclaiming he is “fearfully” and “wonderfully” made. The psalmist recognizes his unique journey into existence not from empirical observations but through his “soul”. This means the psalmist is not acknowledging the Lord’s hand in his creation by what he has seen, it is what he knows in the deepest part of his being- the very part the Lord formed in his mother’s womb. There is an intrinsic connection in the soul between the created and the Creator, that is, between the blanket and his/her Maker (Prov. 20:27).
The ancients viewed the inner parts of people as being associated with the essence of who a person was but if you were to write out a word for word translation of several key passages which illustrate this you’d be either confused or amused. For instance the neck which can be associated with the part of our skeleton which holds up our head and brings air into our lungs as well as food to our stomach thus connecting it to our very ability to live, can also be associated with bringing negative attributes into our character. It can be deceitful (Ps. 5:9), display arrogance (Is. 3:16), and on the positive side praise God (Ps. 149:6). Therefore it is important to keep those inner-workings in tip-top shape, i. e. connected to the One who wove them together in the first place. Paul wrote to the beleaguered Corinthian church that although the outward man might be as slip-shod as an imitation Rolex, the inner man is “renewed by the Spirit”. He prayed that the believers in Ephesus would be strengthened by the same Spirit in their inner man so that they would understand in the deepest way possible the Lord who loved them (Eph. 3:14-19). And when Jesus was asked how one could attain eternal life by a man who had been a “Law-abiding citizen” all his life He answered by quoting Deuteronomy 6:5; a passage from that very Law which illustrated that a relationship with our “Blanket Maker” involves total commitment from every part of our being (Lk. 10:25-28). Most of us have probably met someone who is as phony as a knock-off Rolex, but more importantly it is up to us to make sure we’re not living the same way. Only the Spirit (the “needles” according to Isaac) can make sure we are woven properly. The question is, “Are we willing to let Him do that?” (Eph. 4:17-24).
Ann H. LeFevre, M. Div.
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