Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Tattoo

I recently wrote about my Poland Syndrome. In the post, I mentioned a guy who is ashamed of his deformity and decided to tattoo 98% of his body to cover his "ugliness." I see myself in a completely different way: I am thankful that God created me with Poland Syndrome. So, I decided to get a tattoo for two reasons: 1) I wanted a visual reminder of how God is in control of things that we cannot understand, such as deformities and problems in our lives, and 2) I think tattoos are cool.

God is ultimately in control of the universe. He is in control in ways that we cannot comprehend. This is what it means when it is stated that God is sovereign. A good biblical story of God's sovereignty is in the end of Genesis: the story of Joseph. Here's my quick summary:

Joseph's older brothers envied him so much that they planned to kill him. Instead, they sold him into slavery and lied to their father, telling him that a wild animal ate him. Joseph grew up as a slave and ended up using God's gift to him, dream interpreting, to aide Pharaoh in Egypt. Joseph became Pharaoh's assistant, in charge of the food they saved up for the famine. Joseph's brothers end up coming to Egypt to request food, and they found Joseph alive, deciding whether or not to give them what they need to survive.
I love Joseph's response to his brothers: "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives," (Gen 50:20). That is clearly a great story about forgiveness. But it is especially about God working through a really crappy situation in Joseph's life (being sold into slavery) and using it for something good (saving many lives). [For the details of the story, read Genesis 37-50. This is my favorite Bible story; I highly recommend it.]

Knowing that God is sovereign, it gives me hope when bad things happen in my life. Sure, I am deformed a little bit. But God can use that in a good way too. What ended up happening as I grew up with this deformity is that it humbled my pride. I have a big head (both figuratively and literally). Pride is the biggest sin that I struggle with. So, it makes sense that God uses my Poland Syndrome as a clear visual reminder that I see every day in the mirror. It helps me remember that I'm not perfect and I'm not as great as I think I am. Naturally, when thinking about where to put my tattoo as an additional reminder that God is sovereign, I wanted it in the same place. And as a mirror image, I can read it every morning when I look into the mirror. A constant reminder that God is in control in ways that we can't always comprehend.

Oh yeah, and I got it because I think tattoos are cool. Now, I certainly know that this in no way makes me "cool" at all. After all, I did get lightheaded after he was done tattooing me. :-)

I also gotta give props to the guys at Canyon Body Art, which is where I went. They are very professional and friendly, as well as great artists. I went there based on my friend's recommendation and I would definitely go there again.

Related Posts:
I Have Poland Syndrome