And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. — Romans 12:2 (NASB)
Even though I might sound like a rookie, I have a confession to make. When processing a scene for fingerprints (friction ridge impressions), there is little that tickles my fancy more than a crisp clear impression developing before my eyes. Even with a quarter century experience under my belt it’s still exciting!
Each powdered-brush stroke reveals more of the pattern. It forms and widens. Darkened ridges rise and recurve. Some split into bifurcations. Others abruptly stop as ridge endings. The combination of details are unending and amazing. Each unveiled detail feeds my confidence. I will identify the person who left it. Fingerprints can be beautiful.
God, fearfully and wonderfully, formed our bodies in our mother’s womb. He used the amalgam of data encoded in our DNA, gentle movement of amniotic fluid around us, and our touching the walls of our pre-birth home to engrave ridge impressions into our fingers, palms, and foot soles.
DNA is heralded as the ultimate evidence despite its weaknesses. Friction ridge matching is the workhorse, the most widely used source of identification in the world. However a match does not prove a person’s guilt only their presence. Depending on the composition of the print, the surface it is on, and the surrounding environment, it can be viable for minutes or months.
I can identify a person from impressions and testify to his or her presence at a scene. But based solely on the fingerprint I cannot say when the person was there. There are certain signs (e.g., clarity vs. blurring) and environmental situations, which will hint at a time frame, but they would not stand in a court of law. If a suspect in a crime had been at the scene prior to the crime on a legitimate basis, the fingerprint match can be worthless.
An ability to nail down the time an impression was deposited, would be a great boon to crime scene investigation. Now, as explained in the video above, researchers may break this time barrier. They are observing many of the signs that I observe in a fingerprint in the process of validating their findings.
I previously posted an analogy about processing a scene for fingerprints to show the presence of a suspect at a crime scene and processing a person to unveil the God’s presence in a person’s life.
But how fresh are those prints left by God in a person’s life? How long has it been since He touched them?
In Galatians 5:22-23 the Apostle Paul speaks about “fruit of the Spirit“. These gifts are a free sample of what we will be like in eternity. They are displayed in a person’s behavior and remain the truest evidence that God has touched their life. There is a crisp newness about them.
When people come into a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, they undergo a transformation that continues the rest of their life. However, if a blurring in that newness is observed in them. If God’s fingerprints are not clear and crisp, it is a good indicator they have stepped away from relationship and His hands.
Through his writing in Romans 12:2 the Apostle Paul urges Christians to continue in transformation, by staying in His hands. The fingerprints of God are beautiful indeed.