Are Long-Nose Genes Recessive?

I think I’m in the 80th percentile of nose length for humans.

Okay, maybe 85 percent . . . I’m definitely helping bring up the average.

Loyd Family 2009

So, you can imagine my excitement as I see my daughter grow up and realize that I think she’s inherited her mother’s genes for that particular part of her facial structure. Either that or my genes have just been diluted with the smaller nose genes of my wife, which has some how diminished the long-nose genes I was contributing. Kind of like going on a long, healthy run and then indulging in a deliciously caloric Chick-Fil-A binge; they just cancel each other out.

Or, Paytyn is adopted. But, if that’s true, I wanna know what that heck that thing was I saw come out in the delivery room!

Anyway, it seems as though my daughter is not inheriting at least one unfortunate part of my physical makeup. Now she just needs to find good teeth, sturdy tendons and a little more height from some other branch in our family tree.

It’s funny the things that we pass onto our kids, isn’t it? I was watching Paytyn laugh and play the other day, her golden curls bouncing in her face and her eyes alight with joy and I could see in her face the beautiful outline of her mom. In other moments I see the slightest resemblance to her Nana (grandma). And, I’m told that she has a certain sarcastic expression that looks like me (figures).

She is made in our likeness.

Paytyn Loyd

She looks like us. But not exactly. Paytyn is a strangely inimitable mixture of my features and the elegant characteristics of my bride. And that’s the thing about “likeness,” it’s not a photocopy. It’s a likeness. She looks like each of us, at various moments, but at the same time she is her own unique recipe of person. Like a blend of coffee that tastes so familiar and yet has traces of flavor you can’t quite place.

So, in the first book of the Bible, the writer records that God made us in His likeness.

“When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created, he called them ‘man.’”
(Genesis 3:1-2)

Created in the “likeness” of God.

Think about that for a moment. Every one of us carries in us some sort of divine imprint or substance. We are made of God-stuff. From day one, we are inherently birth-marked by the beauty and goodness of the Creator. Knowingly or not, we exist and move and breathe with what amounts to the DNA of God that gives us life. It is with God that all our genetic material finds its origin and it is His genes that flow freely through all the family trees of humanity.

Daddy's Monkey Face

Try remembering that next time you feel ordinary. To be human is to truly be more than just a mundane collage of cells, but to be made in the image and likeness of God.

We are not God. He is unique and strange and wonderful. But we are “like” Him. And His icon in us makes every one of us beautiful, exceptional and invaluable.

Now, my worry for Paytyn is not this amazingly divine heritage, but her more earthly one. Because you see, it’s not just that she inherits the “likeness” of God in her genetic makeup, but also the “likeness” of me in many areas of her life and personality. Read the very next verse in Genesis:

“When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.”
(Genesis 3:3)

For better or worse, for long or short noses, we also create our kids in our own image. The things that haunt us, often haunt them. The things that plague us, frequently make them sick too. And the many inadvertent examples we live-out become their learned patterns for life.

Her future is so bright...

You can be sure that Adam already knew this. Because of Adam’s big mistake, his first two sons learn the art of sin and the one kills the other in the first murder in the Bible. Seth, whose name means “appointed” or “compensation,” is born as a “replacement” for the lost son. Talk about a lot of pain and hurt to inherit.

Made in the image of God, but born into the fallen pattern of Adam.

Such a strange mixture of beauty and tragedy we all are. Like an otherwise beautiful and healthy body that is dying from cancer. We are like God. But, we are also like Adam. At least for now.

Often times now, I find myself wondering which Paytyn will inherit from me more. The beautiful goodness and compassion of God? Or the messed up, mistake-driven selfish patterns of me?

You see, I know God is re-making me. Almost as if He is, through Jesus, working to re-write the uncorrupted file of His DNA back into my life. For though I am made in the “likeness” of God, Hebrews states that Jesus is the son who is:

“the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation (image) of his being.”
(Hebrews 1:3)

Jesus isn’t the “likeness” of God, He is EXACTLY GOD. He is the purest expression of God.

And though he is working to help me unlearn patterns of my selfishness, I still struggle in my paradox; struggle that will inevitably bleed into the inheritance of my daughter. I just hope that Paytyn grows up seeing the incredible progress He is making in me and not just all my mistakes along the way.

Nick - Paytyn - Tania

Though I will try my best, unfortunately for Paytyn, she might have been better off with a long nose than some of those other characteristics I’m sure to pass on.

Somebody asked me the other day, “So does your daughter look more like you or Tania?” And really, I’m not sure. There seems to be a good compliment of us both in her.

I guess until she gets a little older we won’t know for sure which nose she actually inherited. I don’t know which of us she’ll end up looking like more.

But, just between us, I pray she looks a lot more like God than either of us.

.

Advertisements

Snot & Booger Theology

I pick my nose.

Ok, there, I said it.  But what are you supposed to do when there’s a big booger just chillin’ up there restricting all the oxygen from getting to your brain?  I mean, maybe I do it because the socially respectable part of my mind is just oxygen deprived.  It’s just plain survival!

Now, i don’t eat it.  I don’t wipe it on my pants or stick it under a desk or anything.  But if we’re going to just be straight up honest, I’ve been known to pull debris out my nasal cavity.  Sometimes some fairly large and impressive debris.

But, I do have boundaries.  I’ll touch all my own snot (and then shake your hand . . . think about that), but in no way do I want to have personal contact with the mucous in your nose.  That would just be disgusting.

So, I was reading a st97807460377822ory to my daughter the other night when something wet dripped on the book.  It was a very deep and intellectual book entitled, “That’s Not My Puppy” and so naturally I was concerned.  When I looked up, I saw my 10-month-old daughter rubbing her face as a river of clear snot ran out her nose, down her chin and fell softly, pooling up on the book page.

Now, my first instinct is to be a little grossed out.  For instance, should you come over to my house and blow your nose all over a book that I’m reading to you, I’d probably be a little offended (because we do have kleenex available-with lotion to prevent chaffing), and I’d likely show you the outside of my front door (however, you would get to take the book home with you).  There are certain aspects of your life that I’m really comfortable just leaving to your care and that I’d rather not be invited to.

And yet, as absolutely gross as I find another person’s snot, there is something about my relationship with my daughter that is causing me to suspend all the normal things I would avoid participating in with any other person.  There is an element of messiness, filth and indecency that I find myself willing to engage in with Paytyn, sometimes without even a second thought . . .

So, I did that night what had to be done.  My daughter needed her nose wiped.  And because she hates the little booger-sucker thing and won’t hold still long enough for me to use it.  And since there was very little supplies at hand.  I took my hand and started to pull the snot out of her nose with my bare fingers.  For several minutes I pulled gobs of clear goo out of her soft, little nose.  It was like excavating a pudding container with your fingers.  Turns out, though, it’s more effective than that stupid aspirator anyway.

Gross?  Maybe.  But, since I had left her burp rag downstairs and was too lazy to walk back down and get it, I did what any good dad would do and wiped it on my pant leg!  Now, I don’t wipe my own snot there, but apparently that’s where I’m willing to showcase Paytyn’s.  It’s as if being a dad is turning me into some sort of weird savage caveman.   I pull snot out of noses and wipe it on my leg.   I wipe amazingly foul-smelling poop off the butt of another human being.   I’ve been thrown up on more times than I can remember (the worst of which is always when I’m not wearing a shirt).   And yet, I keep reading stories, changing diapers, and take every moment I can to hold my daughter, knowing that all the messiness is sure to come again.

And so as I layed her down to sleep that night and headed downstairs to put my snot-crusted jeans in the wash, I thought about what I’ve become . . .

I’ve become a lover.  I’ve become a dad.  I’ve become a fan.  And no matter what kind of dirt and grime and disgusting adventures I’m pulled into, I’m willing to go (even though it isn’t my preference) because I am so totally in love with this little girl.  I’m willing to get as dirty as it takes to have a relationship with her.

Have you ever thought of God like that?  Have you ever thought of the mud and the dirt and the filth that we pull him into?  Have you ever thought of the snot and the poo that we expose Him to?  The gossip.  The messy break-ups.  The wars.  The greed.  The dishonesty.  The betrayals.  The hypocrisy.  The self-centeredness.  The hatred.

498356003_10baf103821

And what if in the midst of all this vulgarity, God is not standing on the outside of the earth, keeping Himself clean and tidy while condemning us with displeasure.   But, what if where you find God is right here in the middle of the mud, knee deep in the poo, wiping snot all over his pants.   What if God desires so much better of us, and yet is willing to do whatever takes–to get as dirty as necessary–to have a relationship with you.   With me.

What if God is willing to go to any extreme to help us wipe our nose?

One of my favorite verses these days is Romans 5:7-8.  It is here that Paul talks about who God has become because of us:   “Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his love for us in this:  while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

While we were still sinners . . . I like that.

It reminds me that no matter how cultured and religious I think I am, I’m right down in the mud with everyone else.  It reminds me that no matter how dirty I get, God’s first thought of me is always love and not condemnation.  It reminds me that even when I think I’m too messed up and broken to be useful or desired by anyone, let alone God, that he is much closer than I realize.  It reminds me that He won’t wait until I get all cleaned-up to “demonstrate” or “prove” His love for me, but that in some strange fatherly way, He proves it by loving me in the mud.

And it reminds me that God will go to any length to clean me up, even if it means getting dirt, snot or even blood all over his clothes.

And so may you remember, whenever you come across these words, that your Dad is not too distant to know your struggles.  He is not too stodgy to wipe your nose.  He is willing to take steps to you long before you take steps to Him.

I just hope Paytyn grows up knowing the same thing.