Saturday, August 25, 2007

Tattoo: Why Now? Am I Sure?

Really it started in the summer of 1999. That is when I had my accident and my finger had to be amputated by a surgeon after I had done 98% of the job myself with the unfortunate combination of a screw sticking out of the back of portable basketball hoop pole and my wedding rings. (Yes... foreshadowing... I get it.)

I was stunned by the amount of 'comforting' phone calls and cards and face-to-faces from people reassuring me that God must have a plan or be testing me. This stunned me. A lot of us have children - would we EVER test them or teach them a lesson by purposefully causing bodily harm? HELL NO!

In counseling I constantly remarked on how this was accident was not caused by God. Sure, God could use it for good, but God did not do this to me. The counselor eventually told me to stop protecting God - apparantly God can handle bad theology... it's the killing and greed that pisses Her off.

In November of 2003 our daughter left this earthly kingdom before we even got to meet her. I started to think seriously of a tattoo - but what? I thought of our child's initials or maybe her nickname in Chinese, but then if we had other children would I need to have their names tattooed on as well? I began to think about the inner strength that we have that is fueled by our faith. The combination of still struggling with exactly what to get and TDH's absolute disgust at the idea of it always put it out of reach.

But I never stopped thinking about it.

Now we are in August of 2007 and I am once again weathering a humongous personal storm. And once again I find myself reaching deep down for inner strength. And yet this is not an inner strength with its foundation in me. I am merely human. This is an inner strength deeply rooted in the knowledge that God is emphatically, over-the-top, passionately, profoundly in love with me. I am God's creation and anything I am able to do/accomplish/achieve and yes even survive in this earthly kingdom is because I am a beloved child of God in EVERY sense of the word.

And that word is 'hesed'.

This is what my tattoo shall say and it shall be in the color of the ocean when I like it the best - in the fall and slightly stirred up. No 'surf's up' blues for me. I am looking for New England ocean in September blue.

And so 8 years after I first thought it over, it is now time to get that tattoo. The date is September 28th, a day I have already requested off as one of my quarterly spiritual days. That's right, it's a spiritual day. And as we have noted in other posts it is self care... and I'm ready.


31 comments:

ymp said...

I draw the line because of the needle involved, but I don't know if I have ever heard a better reason to get a tattoo.

Lorna (see through faith) said...

Thanks for sharing your reasons ... it's deep and meaningful for you, and yes a milemarker too

- self care and spiritual day with a difference. I like that :)

Songbird said...

You've convinced me!

Listing Straight said...

It will be a very good day-

And needles aren't so bad...

revrosa said...

simply magnificent...

mamaS said...

Bravo!

PK said...

God is not only emphatically, over-the-top, passionately, profoundly in love with you... God is also empahtically, over-the-top, passionately, profoundly proud of the way that you seek him... but add to the 10th power proud of the way you serve him.

more cows than people said...

I can think of no better tattoo for you.

No better time for you to get this ideal tattoo.

And I think it's incredibly gracious for you to explain, but not necessary.

I can't wait to see a picture of it.

And how wonderful that this is a spiritual practice for you. Just beautiful.

ppb said...

Is it going to be on your ankle? I love the color. Now we all have to wait another whole month to see it!

cheesehead said...

You are incredible.

Really.

will smama said...

I just want to clarify that the tattoo will more closely resemble the pictures that I have posted below this one, but I wanted to put up the right word!

Thank you pk, you honor me.

I am actually already planning my second one so I can go with listing straight (it will be small... and it may just be her with me going as support!)

will smama said...

right, inner ankle - just above the knobby thing.

It's gonna hurt.

Drew said...

I think that the fact that you are doing it as part of a spiritual day is poignant. Tattoos symbolize rights of passage in tribal cultures, sort of eternal markers on temporal moments of our own personal changes in life. These are things that we codify with these symbols that become part of us. It is one way to exert control over things that slip outside of our grasp - a way to make sense of events that cause us to lose our sense of the coherence of life. In other cultures these are not elements of fashion, but integral pointers of life itself that we choose to share. When we preach we put on the yoke of God, a tattoo is no different except that it is a permanent reminder of our contingency on the one who sustains us and the grace that inheres in the midst of our frailties.

will smama said...

Ladies and gentlemen, this is my friend Drew's way of saying: "A tattoo be bitchin'."

Thanks man!

Mary Beth said...

You go, WS.

Marie said...

Gorgeous. Amazing post (not that you needed to explain yourself) and beautiful theology. Much love.

reverendmother said...

I feel like we should all light candles for you on that day, or something!

When you get your second tat with Listing, why not get a blue dot on your shoulder---the whole world, just from very very far away...

will smama said...

"It's the way my mother sees me from heaven."

Sure do wish Tom Selleck was here to look at it.

LadyBurg said...

I love it. Its perfect! Can't wait to see it on your skin.

You are indeed beloved - deeply and passionately so.

Sue said...

This is so beautiful. You are truly an inspiration WS.

I'll light a candle for you on the 28th of September and hold you in prayer.

*goes to mark calendar*

]*

St. Casserole said...

this makes sense

Girl said...

Ok...Reverend Mother just made me really, really giggle. Which is good, because I had teared up.

On another note..."New England ocean in September blue"

Good choice.

Tripp Hudgins said...

Wonderful! This is a great idea. I have been playing with a tattoo idea or two myself. Your's is a great on.

cheesehead said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought of Phoebe's "whole world" tattoo!

word veri=funxindl

Rev Scott said...

YOU.

ROCK.

QuakerPastor said...

You go girl!
Great design!
No bettter time or reason!

Patti said...

Wonderful idea. This is a good day. (I'm new here. I was having a muffin top with Songbird when you texted her.)

St. Inuksuk said...

Oooooo....I do like the ocean colors!
May it go and be well for you.
Don't some counselors/therapists just drive you wild? Maybe if they had a closer relationship with God, and a community of faith, they might see it more as good, solid theology borne out a deep relationship with God and strong faith community than a mere wanting to "protect God".
Oh vey, like God needs our protection?!!?
You go girl!

Caminante said...

Over here by way of RevDrMom... I think the tattoo and the Hebrew hesed is a great idea. (I've sort of thought of one myself to mark turning 50.) Anyway, blessings on the 28th.

Reverend Dona Quixote said...

Yes, WS, yes!!!

Kathryn said...

I don't suppose you and LS could manage another one each next year at the revgals hoolie? Or should I take a deep breath and get mine done on 26th September too. I've found it, on a celtic art stand at Greenbelt...