There is something satisfying about chosen permanence .
You decided it.
It is forever.
It is visible.
And there are many things in our lives that are labeled as permanent.
And many more.
But the truth is that there is only one thing that is permanent that does not require faith.
She is gonna come no matter who you are.
All else…is a false permanence.
Let’s take a look at my fingers for example.
I tattooed the words Graced, Constant, and Favored on my fingers representing my three children and their characteristics.
Tattoos are supposed to be permanent.
But the interesting thing about where I got these tattoo’s is that one of them isn’t.
Chris my tattoo artist told me before he even started…”Hey man. I’m just gonna let you know, this first finger you are getting inked, your index finger, it has some deep ass callouses. Like deep. There is no pigment attached to the bottom half of the side of your finger. This means that the tattoo is not gonna stay after just one session. you are gonna have to keep coming back, dozens of times until that shit sticks. And even after it sticks, it will be faded and you will always have to get it touched up…
It’s pretty much a prescription for a lifetime of guaranteed needle pain.”
I looked at him, not really getting it, but getting it, and said…”Well let’s do this then.”
It looked sick.
Amazing. but after a few weeks…there she went.
The ink started fading.
Not on any of the other fingers…Only on the index finger with the callouses.
And I went back in for a touch up.
He knew i got it now.
And when he was done touching it up it looked as good as new.
He said…”See you in a few weeks.”
My finger is faded again.
Not as bad as the first time it faded, but enough to understand what Chris was talking about.
The callous on the inside of my finger is going to take work and pain in order to keep looking good.
And when I go in again on Saturday, I’ll walk out with it looking clean, and in a few weeks, or maybe this time 2 months, I’ll need to feel the needle on the side of my finger again, because of the callous that has developed there.
Work with me…
Look at your spiritual lives.
Look at the callouses that have grown all over it.
The church has defeated you.
The perfect wife has deserted your soul.
Jesus seems like a distant 4th cousin.
Your ministry has fired you because you got caught but your boss didn’t.
You are done.
Then comes Jesus again.
Gently knocking on your ethos.
You want to ignore Him but you can’t.
You want to run but you can’t.
He is loud now.
“Come back. I’m waiting. It’s not going to be easy or painless, but it will be worth it.”
So you head back.
Here is where Chris my tattoo artesian plays the role of your sanctification.
Your calloused heart is not going to be an easy fix.
It is not going to be one session and everything is as it was.
To be honest, it will never look as pretty as it did the first time your heart got tattooed by the love of Christ.
It will take work.
It will take many sessions, but once again you will wear the mark of Christ.
And once again you will be marked by your faith.
It won’t look pretty.
It will actually look a bit gnarly.
But it will be deeper set than any of your other friend’s faith.
And it won’t ever leave once it has past the callousness into the pigment that is deep below.
At this point the fresh inked people with no calluses will see your faded, black turned to green inked fingers and want to know how you kept it there.
And it is your responsibility to not sugar coat your journey…
To not bow to those who want a pretty, gift wrapped, fresh tattoed faith..
And tell them that you and your faith faded because of your calluses, and although it is painful to keep heading back to see Chris, your sanctification tattoo artisan, it is worth every ounce of pain it takes to get the ink deep, past the callous, and into your pigment…
So that you are marked with an ink that is not shallow, but deep set.