Tattoos in Lent

I’m getting a tattoo for Lent.

I have successfully made it 35 years without getting a tattoo for a few reasons: fear of my mother’s wrath, the inability to commit to one word or image for 60+ years, and let’s face it- I did not want to see permanent ink stretch & wrinkle on my body!tattoo

That all changed for me last week when I was at APCE (Association for Presbyterian Church Educators). One of the booths in the Resource Room was giving away the Celtic cross tattoo you see to the left. The woman who gave it to me had hers on the inside of her left wrist, so I decided to give that location a try. It changed everything!

Rarely do I wear full length sleeves, so each time I moved my left arm, I caught sight of my tattoo. It reminded me to pause and think of God. I loved having a sign of God inscribed on me in the same way we are inscribed on the hand of God (Isaiah 49:16).

So I’m going to give it a try. I’m still not ready to commit for the next 60 years, so I’ll be trying a combination of henna and/or sharpies for my tattoos. It also gives me the freedom to change words and images throughout the season. If any of you out there are artists and would like to help me in this endeavor, I’m in the market for a good tattoo artist.

This will not be my only discipline (or way of practicing to be a Christian as I explained to our Confirmands yesterday). I’m doing a three part discipline as Jesus instructs in our Ash Wednesday text Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21: give, pray, fast. The tattoo is the “pray” part. My fast is going to be fasting from saying negative things. And since I know I will fail at this at least once every day, I will have two jars (one at home and one at work) where I must add a quarter for each time I break my fast. At the end of Lent, I plan on giving this money away, most likely to our One Great Hour of Sharing offering.

What do you plan on giving up or taking on for Lent?

Blessings,
Jo

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2 thoughts on “Tattoos in Lent

  1. Jo, When we lived in Greensboro, our sons growing up, our eldest, Ben, vowed to get a tattoo, but knew that we would not allow him too…and he also knew that at 18 yrs of age we couldn’t really stop him. On his 18th birthday he and friend Brit Peck went to the tattoo shop for the deed to be done. On his return home we saw what he had done: taken my Book of Common Worship and had a celtic cross tattooed on his ankle. We couldn’t complain too much about that. Thanks for your ministry. David Sutton

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