Ink on skin. Tattoo. Proof at one time a person had too much time and too much money. Art values aside, the painful, and addicting injection of pigment into the epidermis is meant to be a statement. It is an elaborate ritual, even if all you’re paying for is a satirical bar code across the back of your neck.
If budget would allow, and I wasn’t so skinny as to make site selection difficult, I’d get another one today. The system I’ve employed for the last four tattoos, and a few subsequent cover-ups, is to select a Bible verse worthy of commemorating and meet with an artist to come up with an original, or at least provocative design. At some point in the planning session I’ll ask the artist if they have a Bible handy as I want to check my verse reference to make sure it’s accurate.
It used to surprise me that a tattoo parlor would have a Bible in house as a tool of the trade. But as I've never having been disappointed in my request I can confidently state that if you are ever in need of a scriptural pick me up you can count on the denizens of the flashing neon dragon.
My private agenda is having the parlor staff research my verse selection, even to the point of having them read it out loud to me .Satisfied that the chapter and verse are correct, and adequately matched to an elaborate, but affordable design, I casually ask the artist or staff if they had any premonition they’d be ministering the Gospel when they got out of bed that morning.
Since the inkster is now captive to my flesh I can proceed to share the Spirit that is laden in the scripture we are permanently affixing to that narrow band of space that defines my bicep. One word of caution here, if you’re considering using this method to spread the message, make sure your selected patch can support the space required. I had to abbreviate Matthew 10:38 to Matt. when I could have gone with either Mark 8:34 or Luke 9:23. Aesthetics count.
There is also an advantage to memorizing your selected verse so you won’t be embarrassed like I was when somebody asks you what is Isaiah 35:1. Thank God someone standing next to me at the picnic knew the verse, but how often can you count on that happening? We are to be living epistles, and technically that directive speaks more to the qualities of our character than the intricacies of our body art and jewelry, but hey, we’ve got to start somewhere, n'est ce pas?