Day Eight: Tattoos
I watched the television show, Fantasy Island, when I was a child. It scared the daylights out of me. Mr. Roark had an assistant named Tattoo. It never made sense to me because I do not remember him having any. Maybe I missed something.
I did not grow up in the Church, but apparently tattoos have had their share of controversy.
“No, Christians should not get tattoos.”
“Yes, it is okay.”
“No, it is not okay, but you can keep them if you become a Christian after the fact.”
“Yes, it is okay, but only if you’re a church planter.”
Once I decided to plant a church I felt less legit for not having one. I also did not have spikey church planter hair. This must be what I am doing wrong.
I thought about getting a tattoo for about two minutes before I passed out. Needles do that to me. Seriously. One time I was being prepped for surgery and Rob asked the doctor about the procedure. She started to explain in detail and, bam, down I went. Therefore, no tattoos for me.
However, if I did get a tattoo, it would be one of those arm bands that wrap around your biceps. It would have flowers and elephant tracks encircling my arm with “1 Peter 3:15” connecting the middle. It is my life verse.
It is one of my first memory verses. I was in a Bible study and we were encouraged to memorize one each week. This one stuck hard.
“In your heart set apart Christ as Lord and always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have”
Hope is a rare commodity these days, like toilet paper during a pandemic. Lost hope can lead to depression and cynicism. Lately, hope has felt just out of reach. I see it, but I cannot quite grasp it.
I have been asking God why hope seems so elusive. He keeps showing me that hope is found in letting go rather than holding on. Letting go is often terrifying and painful. Yet, in our hearts, we set apart Christ as Lord. It is the key to hope.
Surrender looks so glamorous on paper. The Believers to whom Peter was writing clearly knew about pain and suffering. Hope may have felt out of reach for them, too. Yet, it was in surrendering to Christ that brought hope within reach.
During Lent, I’m asking God to show me again what it looks like to surrender and how to let go. I think it begins by taking my eyes off of hope all together.
It begins by seeing Jesus again as if for the first time. He is hope personified, and when I sanctify Him in my heart, then hope dwells within. It was never out there. I was looking in the wrong place all along. Instead, it dwells within me as the Spirit of Christ and He has tattooed hope upon my heart.