Miska had a bold birthday request: for the two of us to get tattoos (along with our friends, Jules and Corey, though Corey had to bail on us). About five years ago, Miska had a small butterfly tattooed on her lower back, symbolizing for her the new life and beauty God was crafting in her as she moved into her thirties. It is feminine and has such rich meaning, perfect really. For her 35th, she hoped for us to have this experience together, something intimate and bonding, something symbolic.
I probably wouldn’t be classified as the typical tattoo type (okay, we can just do away with “probably”), but I actually might have a little more street cred that you think. Anyway, a while back, we had talked about both of us getting wedding band tattoos, a symbol of permanent love, the commitment of marriage, the way God has joined our souls together.
We didn’t do it, though, and I think the main reason I didn’t was because of my fear of how other people would react (and we all know where this is heading – that’s no reason at all). Tattoos are not an issue in the culture I live or among the people I serve. However, I know there are some who feel (and some with stories and painful experiences to back them up) that tattoos are only for rebellious people who hate God and get stoned and ride the country in a Harley gang and want naked women and skulls plastered on their body. In case you are still wondering, my tattoo had nothing to do with any of that (well, other than the Harley part).
My little ring band tells the world that I am deeply in love with my wife, that the love God has give me for this amazing woman is truly embedded into my person. The ring is also simple, earthy. You might not know this about me, but I’m at least a tad bit granola – and this band just feels raw and masculine, like I could be out in the woods tracking bears and teaching my sons how to navigate the stars and building my family a house from raw timber with my bare hands. I like that; it’s me.
So, there I sat with Lew Hands (yeah, cool, huh?), my tattoo artist, as he carved a little ink into my finger. Multiple people told me man, that’s gonna hurt. It really wasn’t that bad; but then again, I’m tough. I have a tattoo.