I interrupt this regularly scheduled holiday season with an announcement….and a little tid bit that you may or may not already know about me.
I have tattoos.
Yep. I do. Gasp!
Two of them to be exact. And the reason I’m telling you this now is because I’m about to increase that number to three.
If you’re currently still catching your breath from the realization that I have tattoos at all…sorry to knock the wind back out of you again with the realization that they weren’t just a rash moment of foolishness in my youth. Well…at least not one of them.
The first one actually was a moment of foolishness. Call it 16-year-old stupidity…or peer pressure…or whatever you want…but here’s what I call it now…”the ladybug that looks more like a cockroach.” Yes friends…I once had a ladybug…that was supposed to be on my toe. But somehow in the dead of winter, where wearing shoes could have supposedly harmed a tattoo on my toe…some man with a perpetual cigarette hanging out of his mouth named Earl (or something like that) talked me out of the toe and into anywhere else. That “anywhere else” ended up being on my pelvic bone…and thank heavens you can’t see it in even a bathing suit. Two kids and 20 pounds past age 16….it’s just not that cute anymore. My ladybug looks like a cockroach. And to this day, I still can’t come up with any significant thing to say about why I chose a ladybug in the first place.
The second one was well thought through. Essentially, I decided that if I was going to be inked anywhere, I should have made it count for something the first time. But, since I didn’t…I figured I should give it another shot at making it matter. That was when I was 22. And I still really love everything about the second tattoo…well, except that I later learned that having a lower back tattoo is sometimes referred to as a “tramp stamp.” I’m not really down with the whole “tramp stamp” thing…but I do love the tattoo…and I like that it’s on my back.
It looks like this….
All to say…I like it well enough that I’d do it all over again.
And in case you’re familiar…yes, this is Martin Luther’s seal. No…I’m not Lutheran …never have been. (and just to clarify…Martin Luther is an entirely different person from Martin Luther King…who was likely named after the original Martin Luther.)
Here’s a quick run down of what this seal means though (from Martin Luther himself.)
First, there should be a black cross set in a heart, which should keep its natural colour. This will remind me that faith in the Crucified Christ saves us. Now, although the cross is black, it does not tend to change the colour of the heart, does not destroy nature, i.e., does not kill, but keeps alive. “For the just shall live by faith,” – by faith in the saviour. But this heart is fixed upon the center of a white rose, to show that faith causes joy, consolation and peace. The rose is white, not red, because white is the ideal colour of the angels. The rose, moreover, is fixed on a sky-coloured ground, to denote that such joy of faith in the spirit is but an earnest yearning and beginning of heavenly joy to come. Around all of this is a golden ring, to signify that such bliss in heaven is endless, and more precious than all joys and treasures, since gold is the best and most treasured metal. Christ, our dear Lord, He will give us grace unto eternal life. – Martin Luther
I like that meaning. That it doesn’t just seem cute, but that it really MEANS something.
And that’s what’s gonna happen with this third tatoo…a meaningful little mark on my personal docket of things that will happen here pretty soon. No…I haven’t told my mom. So….”Hi mom! Just fyi….I’m getting another tatoo.” (Ok…so I kinda told her before now…but I think secretly she hopes maybe I won’t actually do it.)
Anyhooo….I just had to tell you all. I’m not going to tell you what I’m getting yet though. Where’s the suspense in that?! I’ve known at least part of what it’d be for a few years…and the rest has come to me over the past 2 years. So, this one has been in the making since December of 2007. I love it. It means something to me. It’s got quite a lot to do with my true identity…which is a whole lot greater than I naturally tend to think of it.
And while we’re on it, my friend Laura wrote a really interesting post recently HERE asking the question…”Could tatoos be a modern-day form of baptism?” I don’t really personally think it should replace traditional baptism, but she brings up some really interesting thoughts about our culture…this generation…and the ways we express ourselves. It’s worth a read…whether you’re into ink or not. (By the way…I’m not trying to open a whole big theological can of worms about tattoos and baptism here either. Not really my bag, you know. If you have opinions on it though, I invite you to leave those comments on Laura’s post….she is definitely into cultivating that sort of discussion.)
So…have I made you curious?! Don’t you know I’ll write a post about the whole tatoo experience too?! They say that the third time is a charm….I wonder if “they” were talking about things like tattoos?! Hmmm….probably not.