Ok, so before you get offended, let me fill you in on what could be one of my grandest adventures I’ve had yet. It may not be radical, or put me down as fearless. It’s something people do every single day. But, for me it was a significant moment in my life I can never take back.
You see, this weekend, in celebration of my birthday, I went to get my first (maybe only) tattoo. I know, not shocking. But, as I said earlier, it was significant because I wanted to document this turning point in my life.
A few years ago, I had everything: a great job, two homes, amazing friends, and all the “freedom” I could possibly want. I looked great on paper. I was excelling at my job, had completed a seminary degree, was able to travel where I wanted to…you get the picture. Then one day in my reading I ran across a quote, “the only thing that allows evil to prosper, is for good men to do nothing (Burke).” I skimmed over it initially, but it began churning in my head. Then I ran across Proverbs 31:8-9, “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
I began to process those two thoughts continuously. I couldn’t get away from them. I eventually resigned from my position without having any clear directions. My only concern was to figure out why those two quotes were plaguing me. What was the purpose?
I found myself back in Social Services, and after several jobs, at The Covering House. It’s been a long journey, but that’s kind of what this whole blog is about!
So, this weekend I found myself setting across from Josh, which I can now say is my tattoo artist. I called two friends, Tyler and Eric, for moral support, we loaded up the minivan (yep, you read that right), and we anxiously headed to the parlor.
I had called ahead to discuss what I wanted and put a non-refundable, down payment down so I couldn’t back out. I had two possibilities of tattoos and placement running through my head, which resulted in me standing with my hands on head for several minutes. I finally settled on Proverbs 31:8-9 on top of my foot and was led to the tattoo table.
I quickly informed Josh that I talk a lot, especially when I’m nervous. And, since I had chosen Eric and Tyler as my two sidekicks, I was going to talk even more, as a distraction, because there was no way I was going to let them see me flinch or cry. Josh responded with, “you know the top of the foot is going to hurt.” Well, yes Josh I had heard that before, but thanks for making it such a clear reality.
I forgave him. Mainly because he let me chat away without judgment. We (ok mainly I) talked about why I had chosen Proverbs 31, what my work at The Covering House looks like, and why I waited so long to get my first tattoo.
When I finished, he looked up at me and said, “do you feel like a bad-ass?” I looked down at my foot and secretly I did. I laughed and responded with, “Can you feel like a bad-ass when your tattoo is Proverbs?”
Josh’s response startled me. He replied, “Jesus was a bad-ass.” Well, Josh you are absolutely right, so yes, I do indeed feel like a bad-ass. And, I hope that every time I look at it, I’m reminded of that feeling and I use it to actually do what it says!
***Remember, I was supported in this adventure with two guys. Although they were great at mocking, scaring, and bantering with me, they weren’t so great at actually capturing the moment. So, this is the best pic I have at the moment.
***Josh’s follow up question to the Jesus was a bad-ass comment was, “so when he said he was an alien, do you think he was an actual alien?”