My husband and I used to love watching episodes of the TV series “Star Trek Generations” (my favorite of the Trek permutations). In one episode, the Enterprise was caught in a time loop forcing the crew to repeat the same day over and over. It might have continued forever had Data not programmed a clue into his “neural sub-processors” just as they were about to crash into another ship and start the day again.
As the day began again, the characters noticed Data was dealing poker cards in multiples of three while monitors around the ship showed odd readings in triplets. No one understood why everything was coming up three until the errant spaceship started careening toward them (again). Captain Picard, Commander Riker and Data each proposed a different course of action. That’s when Data noticed the three insignias on Riker’s collar and knew to act on Riker’s solution. The ship was saved, because Data correctly interpreted the hint of three.
God, too has planted hints for man to read throughout creation to help him escape the loop of sin and death. One way He’s done it is through what I’ll call the “clue of two.”
Two in One
If we look through the animal kingdom we note a common theme in body construction—most body parts show up in pairs. Eyes, ears, arms… Though an animal have more than two of each, their numbers are still generally divisible by two. Even organs we normally think of as singular (like hearts and brains) appear with paired chambers or hemispheres.
The “clue of two” exists right down to the cellular level. All life can pretty much be carved down, for example, to two chains of amino acids pairing up in a double helix called DNA. To reproduce, these strands unzip and attract complementary amino acids from the surrounding cellular soup like magnets drawing iron filings. It seems life itself is programmed to need a second half.
We can find classic “clue of two” moments all the way back to Genesis. As soon as God created Adam and declared him “very good,” He said it wasn’t good for him to be alone (Genesis 2:18). The result? God tore His single human in two so he’d have another half to cleave to (Genesis 2:24).
Why does “one” seems to feel unnatural, lonely? We ache for a partner, another to cling to. Like those unzipped strands of DNA, we reach out to those around us in an effort to close the gap. The “clue of two” echoes in our being. For one to live, two must draw together. We were meant to join with someone, yet even connecting with another human (though better) doesn’t seem to be enough.
Turns out God had a more satisfying pairing in mind—something better than complementary amino acids finding each other, more powerful than male and female partnering in marriage. God would answer man’s need for an “other” by cleaving with man Himself, forming a new, glued-together-forever unit of one. The finite, imperfect, and inadequate becomes one with the infinite, perfect, and more-than-enough.
Me plus Him. Could there be anything more whole than that?