Me and my first grandchild, Ever Grace, 2011
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
– Romans 6:1
I somehow found myself alone on New Year's Eve. Teenager was with her friends. We were in Orlando for a national cheerleading competition. My hotel room was across the street from a florescent-bright tattoo parlor with an "Open" sign and no customers. Husband at work. Married daughter with baby far away. A few personal incidents this year threw me off kilter and I … lost my mind for a minute. What can I say?
And, I've been a little too preachy lately. Too preachy. I need to loosen up. Maybe it's the devil bringing me down. When my family saw it, Teenager said, "I'm confused. You don't believe in them." Husband sweetly said, "It's fake. It'll wash off in three days, right?" Married daughter loved it but said, "That's called a job-stopper. You'll never get a corporate job or a Christian schoolteacher job with that unless you cover it up with a big bracelet and long sleeves."
Maybe subconsciously I was afraid of this new Christian schoolteacher job I'd applied for.
My Baptist friends would say I'm "back-slidden."
It seems like every time I take a step toward God, I take two steps back.
It wasn't because of "peer pressure." None of my peers have tattoos.
Maybe I'm trying to look like a liberal so I can infiltrate, befriend them and then – aha! – sway them to my side! Nah. I already tried that … in Hollywood. They kicked me out.
Maybe I am in desperate need of attention … love.
Tattoo Artist: Ever Grace?
Me: It's my new granddaughter's name. Maybe I'm afraid to be old. I shouldn't be doing this. It also reminds me of the Bible verse, Ephesians 2:8,9. "For by grace are you saved through faith. …" I know Christians shouldn't get ...
Tattoo Artist: Whoa! You're a Christ … then why are you …? (he stops)
Me: Well, I know theologically – Ouch! – we are under grace and not "the law" since Jesus came, you know, the ultimate Lamb, like we don't sacrifice sheep for our sins anymore, and Leviticus, the law was to – Ouch! – show us our need of a Savior, but … God doesn't like tattoos because it makes us look like "the world," you know, the pagans who worship other gods, Ouch! But nowadays Christians look just like the world anyway, right? Miniskirts and bikinis at the beach … Ouch!
(My brain tells me: You are justifying your "worldly" behavior by reporting that all Christians look"worldly" now! Have you lost your mind?)
(Tattoo Artist's wife enters. Her arms are covered with tattoos. She is tall, thin, blonde and "worldly" looking. She has a smoker's voice and is non-judgmental.)