"The little cells that could . . ."February 6, 2009 ~ by the Generic Christian Mystic
Some of you reading this may already know I am a medical research scientist and as well a certified arborist, (professional tree-hugger). So being either in the lab doing science or being outdoors loving the creation, sometimes I see things that blow me away in their significance.
Case in point 1:
HL cardiomyocyte cells (heart cells) that I work with have very strange ways about them. The Creator God designed them to work quite well for a long time in many creatures. So what’s so unique about them? And what is the deep truth these little things show us?
Let’s first imagine that each cell represents one person, one believer in the Lord Jesus. Then let’s imagine each cell has a purpose. Further imagine that God has a large vision for ALL his children. He wants us to grow up, to mature and to be His servants. But there is a catch – He wants no “Lone Rangers” for God, no self-made ones. Consider the reality that He wants us to be One, in community, maturing together, serving Him and each other.
This is all very much what is called “Organic Christianity” versus what we see today, something I call “organized churchianity”.
Back to the cells . . .
I will grow them in a flask, which has rectangular dimensions. I add a liquid diet called “media” (cell food), which is perfect for them to grow and thrive within. I moderate even the atmospheric conditions and isolate them in a controlled temperate environment. Into that perfect world, I will introduce a few cells. If I have done all things right, without modifying the protocol, they will split (reproduce themselves) and a “community” of cells will keep growing and multiplying until they completely cover the bottom of the flask. Cells like to adhere to the flask’s bottom, take their place, and grow.
So that’s about it. So what’s so unique about these guys?
First off, while they are growing, as little islands of cells in the media sea, they just sit there looking like cells. Nothing cool yet . . . When they finally cover the whole “floor” or bottom of the flask, something amazing happens -- THEY BEGIN TO BEAT! That’s right, once they are confluent, reaching the full capacity of the flask, each island of cells touches its neighbor and they are all connected – THEY WAKE UP to their purpose! The individual cells become islands of cells and then a community that is then mature. And what happens? They somehow speak to each other and they naturally begin to do what heart cells do – they beat! What else is so amazing is that they beat IN UNISON. No cell is left out. What they were born to do, they each and all together do.
And guess what? No cell is in charge. There is no leader, no director to say, “BEAT now!” It’s in each cell’s DNA, in each one’s nature to know when to do what they should do – even together without any brain cells to direct them!
The Lord said to me when I saw this, “That is how My ones, My Church, My Body is to function. I am your Creator, your Head, and your Leader. My purpose, My Life, My Spirit, My eternal plan, My DNA is in each one of you! I have provided ALL you need to be My People. No man need direct or lead you in what is already in you to do. My Spirit will help, lead, guide and teach you all truth.”
Case in point 2:
If that’s not amazing enough, then one day, the Lord allowed me to see something else about these cells. One week, we were going to need cells to be ready for tests that lasted for 4 days. I decided that I had to modify protocol a bit to avoid cells being ready on a day too late in the week. I avoid working on weekends. So, to do that, I decreased the usual number of cells introduced into the flask on the Friday before an experimental week, to effect an exact day when they would be matured and beating. I played “God” so to speak and decided to make the cells obey my way of doing things. Hey, it had worked with other cells before, so why not these special cells too?
Sadly, the cells grew in odd ways, atypical of what I had observed before and when they seemed mature and filled the flask, they rarely were beating, if at all. I couldn’t figure it out. Only small areas seemed to beat while others sat there still. Where was the unity, the precise beating, as if each cell knew what to do? There was instead, confusion and random beats – a nonfunctional mess!
What was wrong? Then my colleague asked me what I had done with these cells different. Nothing came to my mind. Then I remembered I had lowered the initial concentration of cells to start the culture. She informed me that THAT was what was wrong. She said, “These cells need to talk to each other, to remind their neighbor who they are. When you added too few, they were isolated from each other, so they just grew in whatever manner they decided best. So many of them never matured. These cells must grow in community and speak to each other as they grow to reach functional maturity.”
I said, “Oh, I am sorry I modified the protocol.” She said that was fine since I didn’t know about these cells’ special needs. She left and I sat there, amazed yet again, more truth from the Lord via these meager cells, flooded my soul. WOW!
Not only do these little cells speak of the Lord’s being the Leader of His organic and living Church but these cells spoke to me of the need for us to remind one another and encourage one another. We must speak to one another as to WHO WE REALLY ARE IN CHRIST and what HIS PURPOSE is for us. If we try to live the Christian life on our own, even with ALL the best food out there and perfect conditions provided us – we will not mature into HIS FULLEST purpose for His Church. Jesus has planned community, communal faith, to mature us and help us stay on target, manifesting His fullness.
What an amazing Lord He is!
E-mail me if you have comments or questions.