Wednesdays with Jillene: A remnant of a stain

A remnant of a stain…

“When you want to know who you are, first you need to know whose you are. Then you will find who you are in Him.”

This week in lab, some biology students went looking for who they are… (I guess you could say at the most basic of levels) as they attempted to find their DNA. You know, the building blocks that make you… you. Well, they went looking for it.

  • First step: they had to bleed. A sample of their blood was obtained, using a lancet to pierce their skin.
  • In the next few steps the samples incubated, left to grow.
  • Then, to expose the DNA, the cells had to be broken. Dropped from a height, the cell membranes were split open to allow the DNA to spill out.
  • Then the sample is washed.
  • A dye is prepared. Applied to a slide. That dye should bind to the DNA.

If the experiment had worked, they should have seen something like this under the microscope.

But it didn’t work out properly.

In fact, they didn’t find any DNA.

In the remnant of the stain which should have revealed their DNA instead they found the cross.

A mistake for sure as far as their lab work was concerned. But for me?  This was a God-given, teachable moment. There are times when something just jumps off the screen in front of you, as if the beauty and glory of God were shining through an image meant just for you.

Those biology lab students went looking for themselves and they found the cross in the remnant of the stain.

[Goodness that speaks deeply to me.]

How many times do we seek to find ourselves? What do we see when we look? Do we see our skills, our accomplishments, our struggles, our sins… What if, when looking for who we are, we found Christ?

The students gave their blood sample. The cells were broken. The material washed and a dye was applied, the dye that should have bound their DNA… instead they found the cross. The cross was found as a remnant of the the stain.

How powerful is that?!

When we look deeply at the truth of ourselves we find our sin. We are stained, stained by sin. That stain binds us, to death. But Christ has broken the power of sin and death over us. We are made new. That stain has no hold on us.

Funny thing is, the likely reason that no DNA was found during this experiment is that students’ samples were highly contaminated. What happens when we are “contaminated”, influenced, led astray? So often we can’t find ourselves because we’ve been contaminated, polluted by sin. The remnant of that stain binds us to death.

In the remnant of the stain they found the cross.

Jesus, through the power of His sacrifice, death and resurrection transforms and gives new life. Sin cannot bind me anymore. The cross has set me free.

*May that be what others see in me. When others look at us, may they see Christ.

–>When I seek to know who I am, may I find Christ and who I am anew in Him.

The stain holds no power over me, it binds me no more. Christ’s power has set me free.



Thanks to my friend, Emily Smithers Associate Professor of Biology for Roberts Wesleyan College Department of Biological and Chemical Science (and her lab students who completed this experiment). I’m glad you broke your social media fast to post those pictures of your student’s slide and put up with me as you re-taught me basic biology and humored me as I was blown away by the awesomeness of God as the spiritual implications of the picture/process hit me hard!!!

One thought on “Wednesdays with Jillene: A remnant of a stain

  1. Pingback: Wednesdays with Jillene: life in the rearview mirror |

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