Tattoos and Indelible Promises
A Word of Encouragement from Elizabeth Rice Handford
To commemorate her Grandpa Handford's death, my sweet granddaughter wanted to know his favorite Scripture. I assumed she intended to do a calligraphy of it or perhaps a cross-stitch sampler. Instead she had the Bible reference tattooed on her forearm.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life,
nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing,
Shall be able to separate us from the love of God
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38,39
What an incredible truth she is reminded of, day after day, because of that tattoo!
I'm always interested in the tattoos of people because there's usually a personal story behind it. A teenager at church tattooed a pretty little butterfly on her ankle because she wanted to get over her "fear of needles"! A waitress in a restaurant had a long arrow and the number 5 tattooed on her forearm. She was the mother of five children, she said, and the tattoo reminded her to pray for them while she worked. A navy veteran told me the huge tattoo on his arm of a US Navy anchor was a surprise to him when he woke up one morning. He doesn't remember how it got there. A volunteer at a hospital showed me a cello tattooed on her wrist, because she loves cello music.
A clerk who was serving me wore a beautiful, wide silver Celtic ring on her wedding ring finger. I was enamored by it. "Don't be," she said shortly. "It covers up the worst mistake I ever made in my life. Whatever you do, don't get a tattoo because your husband promises to love you forever, because he won't." The broad ring covered her tattoo with their wedding date on it.
The trouble with tattoos is, of course, that they are easier to put on than they are to remove! Sometimes indelible isn't a beautiful word.
But indelible is a beautiful word when you read it in God's Word, because it describes a name tattooed-or perhaps more accurately translated engraved-on God's hand:
Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth;
and break forth into singing, O mountains:
For the LORD has comforted His people,
and will have mercy upon His afflicted.
But Zion said, The LORD hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.
Can a woman forget her nursing child,
that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb?
yea, they may forget,
Yet will I not forget you.
Behold, I have graven you upon the palms of My hands. Isaiah 49:13-16
God's hand has your name written on it, (as if God ever needed a reminder that He loves you)!
It is your promise, when you've entrusted your soul to Him. That He will always take care of you. His love is indelible. His strength is inexhaustible. So He promises in Isaiah 41:10: "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you. I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."
And that "righteous hand," dear child of God, has your name engraved on it.