My Tattoo

thePsalmist on March 23rd, 2009

tattoosmall

A lot of people ask me about my tattoo – and to be honest I’m really pleased because when I was planning it I was thinking “I want to get something that people will ask me about so I can tell them about God”. So it seems fair to tell people about it.

My tattoo is on my left forearm and is orientated for me to read, rather than other people. It is a permanent reminder of my lifelong calling and my identity in Christ.

Here’s the story of what it means.

The central image is the most ancient of Christian symbols, the Triquetra. It is an interwoven continuous loop with three lobes, which stands for the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In orthodox Christian theology we believe that God is One in Three Persons – One God made up of three distinct entities or people – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. This ancient symbol represents them, three distinct parts yet woven together as one, indivisably. It is an ancient celtic christian symbol with very murky roots as to when exactly it appeared or where.

Sadly it has also been picked up by occult practioners and holywood. You will often see this same symbol used for totally opposite meanings. There is a popular TV show called Charmed which follows the exploits of some teenage witches. This symbol is often referred to as ‘the charmed symbol’. I want to state for the record that MY symbol is nothing to do with that. I was aware of it before I got the tattoo, but I decided that despite the confusion which might ensue, I would take a stand for the fact that this symbol belongs first to Christians, whatever the enemy might want to do with it.

So the central image of my tattoo is God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He is the centre of my life. Everything I am is centred on God, and not just one part of God, my favourite bit of God perhaps, but ALL of Him. I can’t choose whether I’m more into the Spirit or the Son or the Father – it doesn’t work like that. We need to seek for balance and respect all parts of the Holy Trinity equally. So the Trinity is the centre of my life. It is also worth mentioning that the symbol I’ve chosen is an ancient celtic symbol. Being part celt (my grandad was Welsh!) and very much liking the earliest forms of church which emerged through the celts in the british isles, it seemed somewhat fitting.

The Hebrew text above the triquetra is very very personal to me and my calling to be a minister. Elsewhere I will write my testimony, or the story of my calling into full time ministry. Cutting it short here let me just say that when I prayed and asked God what He wanted me to do with my life the answer eventually came back as a simple and clear word … “Preach!”.

For me a call to preach was the very last thing I wanted to hear. So I responded to God with the great wisdom that “I am far too young to preach and I’m rubbish at it anyway”.

This went on for most of the year. Every time I prayed to God what I should do with my life I got a calling to preach and I told God He was being stupid cos I was too young and rubbish at it.

Then one day I woke up with the reference “jeremiah 1″ pounding in my head. It wasn’t the words of Jeremiah 1, just the reference itself. Now, I had no idea what it said, so I sat on my bed with this reference pounding like the urge to have a wee before your bladder bursts, and there I was confronted with my own argument coming out of the lips of this young man called Jeremiah. God calls Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations and Jeremiah says “Ah! Lord… call someone else, for I am but a child and I do not know how to speak!”. That was almost word for word the argument I’d been using with God – I’m too young and I’m rubbish at preaching.

So I knew I had to choose and I chose to follow God’s will for my life. As I read on though, God said this to Jeremiah “Do not say ‘I am only a child’, you must go to whomever I send you to and speak whatever I command!” Jeremiah 1:7

And that is what I have chosen to mark my forearm with for evermore …”You must speak whatever I command!”. That’s my commitment to God’s word and God’s Holy Spirit. I will only preach what God has said. I seek to take God’s word literally, I KNOW it is utterly true and perfect in every way.

So the top bit above the Triquetra is a passage in Hebrew taken from Jeremiah and reminds me every day of my God given duty of speaking his truth and love out there in very very difficult circumstances.

The bottom text is greek and simply says “disciple of Jesus”.

The whole symbol together reminds me each day when I wake up that my life is to be centred of God, that my calling is to preach the words which God has spoken, and that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. It is an awesome challenge each day.

As I said earlier, it is deigned for me and placed on my arm for me. I’m not really trying to prove anything to anyone else, rather I’m wanting to set myself a timely reminder each day to live up to what and who I’m called to be.

2 Responses to “My Tattoo”

  1. Hi I was wondering where you got your Hebrew and Greek translation?

  2. Hi Sarah, sorry – only just seen your comment.
    I have studied Hebrew and Greek for many years, so I did it myself. However, it wasn’t tricky as both texts are direct from Scripture. So all I needed to do was to check the words stood on their own ok out of context. Hope that helps.

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