It was quite exciting, let me tell you. I had a good bit of trepidation, having witnessed my kids getting their first tattoos. Let's see, my son threw up, and my daughter screamed bloody murder. I know that how painful a tattoo is depends a great deal on its location, but I have to tell you that even though there were a couple of spots that stung, on the whole it was a pretty pleasant experience, even enjoyable, a vibration along the skin! I'd keep getting them, except that really there aren't too many places to put them.
I chose a cross to be tattooed on my arm. One of my favorite worship songs is "You Won't Relent," performed by Jesus Culture and Misty Edwards. It quotes Song of Songs chapter 8: "I'll set you as a seal upon my heart, as a seal upon my arm, for there is love that is as strong as death, jealousy demanding as the grave. And many waters cannot quench this love." The cross on my arm is inspired by that verse.
But what does it mean to me? It is absolutely true that I find a whole lot of joy in my faith. Sometimes I want to spontaneously break into dancing! And I do yearn for ways to show on the outside how I feel on the inside. That is a part of it, me wanting to say, "Hey, look what I found!"
However, the very location of this tattoo speaks of another reason. I had picked out the location ahead of time, but Marie discussed with me the orientation of the cross, and I definitely wanted it facing towards me. Because that is who it is really for. Me. It is on my right arm, and I am right handed, so whenever I reach out my hand to do something, I will be reminded to act in accordance with my faith, to do what I do as unto the Lord. And when things get difficult, I can turn my arm over and be reminded that I am not alone. Always I am held. Whatever comes, I know that God will see me through it.
My tattoo is actually not highly visible to others. When my arm is at rest, whether sitting or standing, it is on the inside of my arm. You really have to get just the right angle to see it. That is probably good! Have you ever seen a car with Christian bumper stickers that appears to be driven by the devil? When you represent Christ in the world, you have got to be mindful of all you do. As I said in my last blog, kindness and love is an area in which God has been working with me, so this is just one more reminder, one more incentive, to remember that before I allow myself to become irritable I need to stop and consider the person before me, and honestly even if they are truly jerks, I don't need to be. Love one another. Love your brother, love your sister. Love your neighbor. Love your flippin' enemy, lol!
If there is one thing I did NOT get this tattoo for, it's to set myself up as some holy person. That I'm not. I am joyful. I feel God's presence in my life, in my heart. I feel him at work, and I am absolutely amazed at the work he does in the quiet when I'm not even paying attention. One day I just discover: "Oh, I have changed!" But this is not a statement of any kind that I am better than anyone else, although I just might have something better than some. Someone I don't know actually seemed to question this, so I just thought I'd set the record straight.
So friends, for your enjoyment, I am posting a video of the song I told you about. It's the very long version of the song, from a live worship service, but it's just that good.
Thanks for being here. Love you all!