Tuesday, January 17, 2012
In today’s society, tattoos are not limited to tough guys and junkies. Maybe they never were, but I do not remember seeing them anywhere but in movies about tough guys and junkies. Now, in today’s culture, they are showing up everywhere, on everyone and anyone who wants one-or more. And they are showing up in places that are fully exposed to public view, unlike leaving them under clothing and keeping them somewhat private. Everywhere we look we are provided views of human billboards of artistic fantasy and declarations of love, or hate. All I have to say about that is “Ouch!”
Having grown up in suburbia in the 50’s, I had very limited exposure to things like tattoos or the people who wore them proudly. Now I have friends who are literally sleeved in them: their arms, their backs, their chests, even their legs and ankles, not to mention their shaved heads. Many others of my friends have one or a few somewhere on their bodies just to be fashionable by doing something daring.
The only thing close to personal experience that I have with them is that my father had some put on his arms in his early Army days. He was in the 7th Calvary, in El Paso, TX. And, no he did not serve with Custer. I am not THAT old. His job was shoveling out horse stalls, so maybe it made him feel a little manlier to have them. But later he wished he could be rid of them. He ended up wearing long sleeved shirts the rest of his life because his attempt to remove them left him greatly scarred. I never did know or care what they had been. I just knew that it turned out to be a foolish thing for him to do.
Today, it is quite fashionable, but still many people are finding that visible tattoos can limit their job choices. And thus, a new business of removal is being developed. Regrets can be painful.
In finishing up this weeks’ lesson pages about Joseph, we are asked to read Genesis 40. Our lesson is about the cupbearer and the baker. Joseph interpreted their dreams and asked the cupbearer (the apparently innocent party) to remember him to Pharaoh, but the cupbearer did not remember him. He forgot him.
In Isaiah 49:14-16, we are reassured that God will never forget us. In verse 16, He says, “I have engraved you on my hands.” Imagine that. We are marked forever on the hands of God. And we are in a very visible place, for all to see. So why does God never regret that He has us engraved on His hands? Shouldn’t He be embarrassed about that sometimes? Who are we that God should so readily show us off?
Let’s face it, many of the tattoos that get removed have to do with people the wearer would just as soon forget. They are not any longer special and probably someone took their place. Others represent pledges of hate that no longer are true in the wearer’s life. But there it is: a permanent mark of involvement.
But God, so loves us, that He made us a permanent part of His Holy Existence. We are not a passing fancy or a momentary lapse in judgment. We are special. We belong to Him and He is well satisfied that we do. WOW. There we are: a permanent mark of involvement with no regrets on His part. Don’t you love that? Don’t you just love Him, crazy like? How Great He Is!