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Symbolic Ink

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The wrist tattoo is sometimes called a crusaders cross, worn by Christian soldiers  during the Crusades as a mark of  identification and as a request for a Christian burial if they should die in battle. Below it is Hebrew which unlike English reads from right to left. It is Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I AM God"  and it is pointed in my direction because I'm the worrier who needs the reminder.

The left arm with the cross/anchor/heart is ! Cor 13, Faith, Hope and Love. The inner part was a gift from a dear friend, an old lady in my church; on one of my birthdays she gave me a gift of some $ and said, "Don't give this away; don't spend it on yourself." So I took her literally. She saw it before she died and was rather tickled that it was in her honor. I've added to it over the years, both by Max and by Rob---two guys who've done a lot of work for me.

The eagle is a tribal version of Isaiah 40:31--Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount on wings as an eagle. I've used that a lot as a Scripture lesson at some of my older members; realized I'm getting older too and just wanted a reminder of the promise.

On my right arm above the cross and Hebrew is a 3/4 sleeve with maori ornamentation plus some things of my own: At the top on my shoulder is Martin Luther's coat of arms--I substituted the cross he had with a chi-rho as a thank you to the church that has honored me by letting me be their pastor for 30 years. Also on that arm is a symbol for family, and 4 lizards: the first from Mexico on my wife and my 25th anniversary. It had been a rough year for me: my dad died, I was sick most of the year, sunk into a depression. My wife planned our anniversary and one night, as I lay outside in a hammock I watched the lizards play (they stick to walls and ceilings) and they look so fun, I wanted to remember that moment and the recovery my wife, my  church and my friends made happen. The two lizards on either side of the center one are for the other two ladies in my life, my daughters.

 

Finally I added one more for me - the one whose tail is hooked to the other. Don't know if you can see it from the pic, but there's also a sea turtle designed into a hibiscus--symbol of Hawaii--a memorable trip with two very good friends. Also there is the arabic letter "nun" or "n" and you may have seen it elsewhere - it stands for the arabic word for Nazarene and is marked on the property of Christians targeted for harassment, persecution, even death. It's my reminder to pray for them. Around all of that is the work done for me by both Max (who now works in Hawaii) and Rob who works in Jackson, MI.