Thursday, August 9, 2007

My husband, the painted man

Okay, so we've all made a few mistakes in our lives, right? I know that a few of my mistakes have been permanent, but at least the mark they leave is in a more subtle, internal way. But what if they weren't? What if you had to wear one of your mistakes like a big "stupid badge" for everyone to see? And what if it looked like this:

This is my husband's left leg. Or at least it was, up until Tuesday night.

Paul was nineteen when he got this tattoo. It's a Rastafarian, which to my husband, or the boy my husband used to be, was symbolic of marijuana. Yeah, in his teen years he liked to do that sort of thing. (Insert praise to Jesus here for his power to change a person's life.)

Anyway, most people didn't know what this little running man stood for, so for years it wasn't a big deal. Except it became a big deal.

As most know, we volunteer our Wednesday nights to a ministry at our church by the name of ARISE. ARISE is for students 6th through 12th grades.

Add to that formula the fact that a band by the name of "Insane Clown Posse" uses an image identical to this little man, which they refer to as "hatchet man". A lot of the students that come to the ARISE ministry are familiar with this band. For those that don't know or aren't familiar with ICP I will tell you that they seem to promote some pretty disgusting things. Things that are so vile to me that I won't dignify them by posting any of they're lyrics. 'Nuff said.

So for the last couple of years Paul has had to explain time and time again that the image that he bears is NOT that of hatchet man. Most of the kids don't believe that.

I personally didn't think it was a big deal, until one day we were in line at a local restaurant when a complete stranger asked Paul the million dollar question: "Is that hatchet man on your leg?" To which another explanation had to be made. That's when it hit me that it was a big deal. I didn't want people thinking that. I finally understood what it must have felt like. I would be revolted if someone linked me to that band.

Paul has researched having this tattoo removed, but the cost prohibits that from happening. So for my husband a bigger, brighter light came on. "Why not cover it with a NEW tattoo?!?!"

He asked me what I thought and I was for it, with one condition. "Why don't you ask God what he wants you to cover it with?" It seems it didn't take the Lord long to answer that question.

So August 7th Paul went in for a new look. It took 5 hours, but the results are amazing. Here's my husband in the chair, with the very talented Duncan:

Here's the beginning stages, the outline:

And the finished product:

The tattoo is based off of Ephesians 6:10-18 which reads:

"10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints."

Now no longer a mistake, but a tangible reminder of our task as followers of Jesus Christ.

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