This is my tattoo:
I got it almost two years ago, in March 2008, when I was really really depressed. I had just gone through a breakup and felt worthless and hopeless. That is a bad combination, but sadly, one that is very common.
My tattoo says “shekinah” in Hebrew. The word means the presence or dwelling place of God. Sometimes translated as the manifestation of God, the glory of the Lord, or the Holy Spirit, it was my reminder that I wasn’t allowed to think that God wasn’t present with me. I might feel that way – and I did. But I made the commitment to believe even when it felt like I was just deluding myself.
This blog has the blogger’s reasons for getting a tattoo which are much the same as mine. I really like that he chose the word “rescued.” I have a friend who has “deconverted” and cites two reasons: one, that there is no scientific proof for the existence of God; and two, that God doesn’t rescue people. That last part is what really touches me. I think it would feel so incredibly hopeless to feel like God doesn’t or can’t rescue people. Somehow – and I don’t know how – even at my worst, I knew that he did. I didn’t know why he wasn’t rescuing me at that moment, but at my core, I still knew that God was the Redeemer who still redeemed and rescued his people. I can’t even explain how I am so sure, but I know that more clearly than I know just about anything else. It’s beautiful to me in the way that birth is beautiful.
I’d love to get another tattoo – either that uses the verse from Job about I know that my Redeemer lives, or something about being redeemed and rescued. I can’t think of another spot I want it though, that’s my main obstacle. Oh, and it hurts.