Oh I do. Thoroughly and often, apparently.
And I can’t say I have any lofty, wise commentary about this situation. I’m posting this here more because there might be others who knew of this or felt the same way, yet went unnoticed by me.
The back story is this: A decent chunk of my friends and relatives (both genetic and by marriage) have tattoos. Some many, some few. I ran across something that I could match, with certainty, to my tattoo post, that did more than hint at hurt from my wondering whether or not tattoos were an outright offense to God. And while the post was a positive portrayal of a specific incidence of ‘tattoo,’ I remain generally uncomfortable with the idea of tattoos… on me.*
So I wrote to this person. I don’t know the fruit of it yet, but I praise God that He brought this to my attention. It might well be a non-issue in this person’s heart by now, but, as I said before, others may have been privvy to this person’s hurt… OR, some of my hundreds of silent readers may have felt the same (ok, tens? Tens of readers? Maybe?).
So… I came across something, and can hardly believe I missed it the first time around.. Forgive the long wordy intro, but it’s relevant to context, I think.
[blah blah blah. How I came to find this evidence of hurt. Not so relevant to blog readers. blah blah blah]
As always, I gear my blogposts for the great wide expanse, and my own personal workings out of issues. I hope I never, EVER use it to slam any individual. My thoughts on tattoos in that post are just that – MY THOUGHTS. Because *for me* I don’t have peace about getting a tattoo *on me*. *I’m* not willing to risk doing something that may be breaching God’s standard of conduct *for me* in that area (along with the whole baking cookies with the grandkids thing). Now… one scripture passage (Leviticus 19) that deals with tattoos also admonishes against wearing clothes that are made with both linen and wool at the same time.. Um, I’m fairly confident that’s a symbolic reference. Unless God shows me something new there, I’m not too worried about eternal damnation based upon the fiber content of my clothing (unless it’s made in China, and then maybe… 🙂 ). Another one says not to cause your daughter to be a prostitute. Good idea. That one I take pretty literally (and would dare to say that’s a standard for everyone wanting to be godly). 🙂 For me (and that means *unto* me), the tattoo/scarring one falls somewhere between those. No, I’m not lining up to get any. But am I ready to call Franklin Graham (Billy Graham’s son) an offense to the Lord (he’s like a walking art canvas)? Heck no. That’s God’s business. Now, the tattooed gangster might be condemned (lest he repent), but I imagine the whole drive-by-shooting thing might be the main element in that. 🙂
I really don’t want you to be hurt by these musings. I was not trying to put forth that I think all tattooed Christians have missed the mark based on their tattoos. Maybe? Maybe not? As I said, I’m not willing to judge that! And I feel terrible that you took it personally. I always assume my ‘regular’ readers comment, and forget that you or others stop by sometimes. I kindof wish you could use a blogger ID (that I know is you) and say “hey! What are you trying to say?!” But that’s hard too (at least for me) because you (I) wouldn’t want to sound accusatory on the one hand, or hyper-sensitive on the other. I know that any time someone goes against the flow with a decision they make (and that could be having tattoos or not, depending on the demographic of the particular group), it automatically feels like judgment to the rest of the flow. Trust me; saying that I homeschool in certain circles makes for interesting commentary. Everyone thinks it’s a referendum on THEM (they respond with, “oh *I* don’t have the patience,” or “*I* could never..,” or “*My kids* would…”). Seriously, they don’t have to defend their educational choices to *me*! But you’d think it the way they respond (to be clear, I’d probably do the same on a subject I hadn’t really considered before… if someone spoke of their anti-lock brakes for their kid’s safety, I’d want to be able to nod my head with ‘me too’ or offer some legitimate reason as to why my vehicle weren’t so equipped… which is so silly!).
[Person I’m addressing], I don’t think your tattoos make you less of a Christian, nor do I think my lack of them makes me more of one. Please hear my heart in this. You are a blessing and treasure to everyone who knows you, I’m sure! Forgive me for writing carelessly, and please know that you are not ‘judged’ in this household.
Blessings to you guys..
*and, ok, my kids, while they’re under my stewardship. We’re all about full-disclosure here. 🙂