My Hidden Tattoos
" ... the LORD's declaration. 'I will put My teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.'" Jeremiah 31:33b (HCSB)
I didn't mean to stare, but I couldn't help it.
After exchanging a quick smile, she continued placing grocery bags into her cart, while my eyes glanced back at her arms.
Tattoos covered every inch of skin from her tiny shoulders to her delicate wrists.
Images of hearts, religious symbols, quotes and names of those I imagined she loved over the years. Woven together in a tapestry of flesh and ink.
Some of the designs had faded with time, while others popped with fresh, bold colors. Forever inscribed with permanent ink from a tattoo machine.
It was obvious she had a passion for art ... and a relationship with a trusted tattoo artist.
If I ever wanted to get a tattoo, how could I possibly decide on one design? I thought to myself.
As she gathered her things and left the store, I wondered about the sting of the tattoo gun and how it must have hurt.
Lord, if I chose to go through the pain, where should my special tattoo be placed?
To my surprise, today's key verse from Jeremiah immediately came to mind:
"I will put My teaching within them and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people."
As a grin emerged from my soul, I whispered to Him, Thank You, Lord, as I pictured my heart covered with colorful tattoos.
Inscribed Scriptures placed ever so carefully with great detail. Engraved instructions written by the holy finger of my Heavenly Father.
Some had faded over the years. Weathered by life's trials.
Others were stained with bold, fresh colors. Some were recently tattooed as I had claimed new promises.
It was a fresh perspective right there in the grocery checkout line! Something totally unexpected, but wonderful at the same time. A teachable moment. His heart connecting with mine.
Originally, God's teachings were written on tablets of stone (Exodus 31:18) and scrolls made from parchment or papyrus (Jeremiah 36:2). This was established under the old covenant.
But as believers under the new covenant, God has chosen to place His Word on our hearts, at the very center of our being, making it familiar and readily available to us. He carefully positions His promises over our hearts to protect our emotions, desires and perceptions of ourselves and others.
As life moves on and years go by, I long for the Master Artist to continue etching His Word on my heart until every inch is covered. Inside and out. I hope you do, too.
Although these special tattoos aren't visible for everyone to see, I know they are there and that's what is most important to me.
I can't wait to see my tattooed heart when I get to heaven one day. As I kneel before God and if I dare to ask, "Lord, do You have a tattoo?" I won't be surprised if He reaches out, and there in the palm of His hand, my name beautifully inscribed for all of eternity. A tattoo, of sorts, that will never fade away or be removed.
"Can a mother forget her little child and not have love for her own son? Yet even if that should be, I will not forget you. See, I have tattooed your name upon my palm." (Isaiah 49:15b-16, TLB)
Lord, Thank You for placing Your Word on my heart so that it's always available to me. When life is difficult and nothing seems to go right, help me remember You are near and Your promises are true. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 119:11, "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you." (NIV)
2 Corinthians 3:3, "And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts." (ESV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Do you have a favorite Scripture verse? Is it one you've memorized recently or have you known it for a long time? Why not challenge yourself to discover a new favorite verse this week?
How do you feel knowing God has written His Word on your heart? What words come to mind? Take a minute to thank Him and make a list of things you're grateful for today.