The average human body contains approximately 37.2 trillion cells. Within each cell are 23 pairs of chromosomes (46 total). Each chromosome has the classic DNA double helix. A DNA double helix consists of two spiral chains of deoxyribonucleic acid. It resembles two staircases wound together. So within a human cell, there are 46 Double Helixes which is really 92 strands of DNA.
My painting, Double Helix, is the bottom/top view of a strand of DNA. It’s just one of the two staircases that are wrapped around each other to form the Double Helix. So if we multiply 92 (the number of strands of DNA in one cell) by 37.2 trillion cells, there are on the average 3,422.4 trillion strands of DNA in the human body. That’s a lot of Double Helixes! Amazing!
Growing up I remember learning in school that cells are the basic building blocks of life. Without cells we have no life. Our bodies contain trillions of cells that are constantly moving. These cells are also constantly dying and being replaced…millions at a time and within minutes. They either die out, are lost through injury or movement, or deliberately self-destruct. We have over 200 different types of cells performing different kinds of functions. Each cell has a life cycle that is carefully controlled, resulting in just the right number of each type of cell (www.whoami.sciencemusuem.org.uk).
We are incredibly and intimately designed by a Maker who loves us and put thought and time into our existence. The odds of evolving into who we are with all of our many detailed parts, starting with a cell, is far too impossible to be by random, mere chance. God had a plan and we were part of that beautiful plan. I love when science points towards a Creator!
The detail and intricate pattern within a Double Helix is both beautiful and mysterious. As I painted this unique view of a DNA strand, I put a lot of time into each little dot, each little line and stroke that connected to each other. It was a lot of fun painting the Double Helix after my pastor gave me the idea. In his sermon, he had presented a side by side comparison of a double helix and stained glass window. Humans had created a beautiful detailed artwork of glass, so finely designed, resembling a double helix. The only difference in the artists’ design and God’s is that God’s double helix actually gives life and could never be recreated by a human. As I looked at the picture of the double helix, I asked God to show me something. And so He revealed through one of the patterns a dove coming up out of the double helix. The dove represents the Holy Spirit and God’s presence in us.
As the famous German architect, Miles Van Der Rohe, so eloquently said, “God is in the details.” And he was right. The human body, full of cells, containing trillions of Double Helixes, was something designed in detail by a loving God, who longs for us to know Him. God is in the details of our cells, because He is in the details of our lives. O, how He loves us!
“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me…For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body…” (Psalm 139:1; 13-16)