Stunned, I read Jennifer Rothchild’s paragraph again. “Isaiah (49:15-16) uses the picture of engraving on God’s palms because in ancient eastern culture this form of tattoo would be a familiar image. And, in our current culture, tattoos are a familiar image too. Butterflies, boyfriend’s names, Bible verses and all sorts of images are tattooed on arms and ankles. Whether or not you agree with the practice, think about what it represents.”*
Some time ago, I asked my daughter, “Paige, why do people get tattoos?”
Her answer, “Mom why do you wear jewelry and keep up with fashion trends?–because they want to and they like them.”
My friend, Loni, displays inside her left arm Jeremiah 29: 11-12. Even though it sounded familiar, I looked it up again this morning. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plan to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” I guess it would have hurt more and cost more to have the actual words etched into the arm. When Loni got the tattoo, her life had just taken a 360 degree turn to become a follower of God, plus her budget was limited. I’m proud of her for providing a visual reminder of the importance of her decision and her plan for the change to be permanent.
When I consider it, Jesus also wore tattoos. They just happened to be the scars of spikes driven through his hands and feet. One of his closest followers, Thomas, had to see it to believe it and said so.
How can my life show in 2017 the permanence of a growing love for serving God? Will it be to treat others well? Will it be to study to grow spiritually? Will it be to share God’s love and plan with others? Will I be the one to start the conversation–‘When do you feel closest to God?’ What do you think–will this ‘showing God’s tattoo’ be important this year for you, too?
*Missing Pieces-real hope when life doesn’t make sense. by Jennifer Rothchild 2012: Lifeway Press