This is day nineteen of twenty-one days of posts between January 10th and January 30th of 2021. Hello again to those who read previous days, and hello to those of you who may have stumbled across this post “out of order”. You should go back and read from Day 1, for a few reasons. It explains why I am doing this. It is the first one, and I may make reference to something in it in this post or a later one. It also has a list with each day’s post (once they are available) and you can jump to whatever topic you are interested in. Thanks for reading!
I know, it is an odd question. I’m not much for getting tattoos. Not that I am opposed to anyone else getting one, just me. Aside from not really wanting to undergo the process, I don’t have a very welcoming canvas for tattoos. I’m hairy, and have moles and other flaws pretty much anywhere a normal person would get a tattoo. But I have considered the question of what I might have tattooed on my body.
It all started when my wife told me she wanted a tattoo. I love her tattoo. It is colorful and means a lot to her. So I started thinking about verses or sayings I might consider having done and where I might put them.
I’ve always liked C.S. Lewis and his work in apologetics. He wrote a often quoted phrase along the lines of “if I find in myself desires that nothing in this world can satisfy, I can only conclude I was not made for here”. It resonates with me and if I were to have it permanently placed on my body it would be on the inside of my forearms, with the first part of the phrase on the right and the second part on the left.
Another phrase from Mr. Lewis is the admittance that “my comfort would prefer for me to be numb”, referring to the fact that people prefer comfort over strife or adversity, but Christians are warned that we will not be comfortable of we are following Christ everyday as we should. I decided I would want that on the outside of one of my forearms.
I’ve always thought that the prayer of St. Francis was absolutely beautiful and summed up a life that Christians should aspire to. It is a bit long to put anywhere so what I had envisioned was distilling it down to just the “not this, but that” part of the prayer. The part that says where there is one thing, let me spread something else. It starts “where there is hatred, let me sow love” and continues through injury and pardon, doubt and faith, despair and hope, darkness and light, and sadness and joy. I had determined the best place for that would be on my side, closer to my back than my chest.
At this point, you’re probably thinking “I thought this was about verses, not sayings”. I’m getting there. I also have verses. My thought is that I only have references- book, chapter, verse, put on. That forces me to know those verses, because no one wants to look silly when someone asks “what does that verse say?”. Psalm 63 was the first one I came up with, to go on my upper arm. I have no idea where to put any of the others, but they are:
- James 1:19 – Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
- Revelation 5:13 – Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lambbe praise and honor and glory and power,for ever and ever!”
- Mark 9:24 – “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
- 1 John 3:1 – See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.
- John 16:20 – Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.
- 2 Timothy 3:1-4 – But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
Some pretty heavy stuff in there. Not all of it is necessarily inspiring, but it is all impactful. I’ve also considered having “the Roman road” tattooed somewhere, as I can never remember the exact sequence.
I’ve never really considered any other type of tattoo beyond scripture and the quotes listed above. There’s nothing else I would want permanently inscribed on me, I don’t think. I might prove myself wrong one of these days. I might prove myself really wrong and actually get a tattoo…who knows?
The point of all of this is in line with Psalm 119:11 – I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you”. Whether I need a tattoo to do this is debatable, I guess.
Lord, thank you for Your word that can help us to keep our eyes fixed on You as we move through this world. Help us to “hide it in our hearts” so we will not sin against you.