God is a weaver!
A few weeks ago in church the message was based on Psalm 139, verses 13-15:
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
My pastor talked about the absolute unique character of every human being and emphasized that fact with information that is only recently understood regarding our DNA. One of those facts: Every human body contains about 10 trillion cells, and if the DNA strand in each of those cells could be strung end to end, they would total a length of approximately 744 million miles long. That's long enough to stretch to the moon (250,000 miles away) and back 1,500 times, long enough to stretch to the sun (93,000,000 miles away) and back four times.
I'm familiar with the verses from Psalms, but regarding them along with what scientists now know about our DNA gave me pause to consider further the mind-boggling, miraculous nature of each of us. I wondered, in terms of the weaving that is familiar to me, is there a way to understand the complexity of how we were "woven together"? Imagining those end to end strands of DNA as thread I questioned: How many miles of thread, how many yards of cloth were woven to create you? To create me? To frame the answer in terms I hoped to understand I chose the widest weaving width of my loom, 44", and a sett of 72 ends per inch (epi) for 60/2 silk, one of the finest yarns available for handweaving. That much is imaginable: Well-known weaver Tien Chiu used 60/2 silk to weave fabric for her wedding dress; 72 epi, 15 yd long, and 23" in the reed.
744 million miles of thread (DNA) translates to 1 trillion, 309 billion, and 440 million yards of thread (over 88 million lb of 60/2 silk). For the sake of example I'll assume half will be used for warp, half for weft. Half of my yardage is 654,720,000,000 yards (note: that's 654 billion yards). Divided by 3,168 (44" @ 72 epi) ends means each end will be more than 200 million yards long making the woven length of cloth equivalent to over 117,000 miles long. If I weave 1 yard every day, 356 days a year, my cloth will take 566,210 years to complete. Let me repeat that: five hundred sixty-six thousand, two hundred and ten years.
Incomprehensible. Unimaginable. Impossible. We cannot begin to perceive the complexity and creativity that wove us together in our mother's womb.
May you be blessed by the knowledge of how masterfully you were formed, and when you sit at your loom or spin at your wheel, may your own creations remind you of how fearfully and wonderfully you are made.
44" in the reed x 72 epi = 3,168 ends
744,000,000 miles x 1760 (yd per mile) = 1,309,440,000,000 yd, divided by 2 = 654,720,000,000 yd.
1,309,440,000,000 yd divided by 14,800 yards per pound (60/2 silk) = 88,475,675 lb
654,720,000,000 yd divided by 3,168 ends = 206,666,666 yd, divided by 1,760 yd = 117,424 miles
206,666,666 yd divided by 365 days a year (1 yd per day) = 566,210 years.
*Note: 88,475,675 lb of silk at today's cost of $156/lb = $13,802,205,300.00 (over 13 billion dollars)